Danish agricultural sector softens stance on emissions tax 

After years of firm opposition to any carbon tax on agriculture, the Danish Agriculture & Food Council (Landbrug & Fødevarer) interest organisation is changing tact on a likely tax on CO2 emissions in the sector.

Danish agricultural sector softens stance on emissions tax 
A new Danish government is likely to implement a CO2 emissions tax on agriculture. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The organisation is to shift strategy from strongly opposing the tax to participating “constructively within negotiations” on a green agricultural tax reform, newspaper Berlingske reports. 

Despite the organisation’s change in stance, its chairperson Søren Søndergaard said he still maintains that taxing agriculture based on CO2 emissions is not sensible climate politics.

“But there has now been an election and there are [ongoing] negotiations to form a government. We can see that the parties that are close to the negotiations all want a CO2 tax on agriculture,” he told Berlingske.

The Danish Agriculture & Food Council (DAFC) therefore wants a seat at the table when the rules –which it accepts are coming — are set.

It has proposed five principles for reform. According to Berlingske, the principles strongly resemble the organisation’s longstanding arguments against a CO2 tax.

READ ALSO: Denmark proposes uniform CO2 tax for most businesses

Among its principles, DAFC wants to retain the 2021 reduction targets at 5 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030. Politicians are considered likely to push for a more ambitious schedule.

Other items on the organisation’s wishlist are measures to protect competitiveness and relocation of jobs; and a promise that funds collected from a CO2 tax will be reinvested in the food industry. It also wants incentives for farmers and companies.

The Liberal (Venstre) party, which could be part of a future government, was previously against the CO2 tax but has also changed its position.

“You can argue against a tax but you will not win,” Liberal leader Jakob Ellemann-Jensen told Danish Agriculture & Food Council representative earlier this month.

“It will happen, because there is a majority behind it,” he said. 

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Denmark’s Lego struggles to introduce non-plastic bricks

Attempts by Danish toy giant Lego to take a step towards greener production with non-plastic brick have hit a stumbling block.

Denmark’s Lego struggles to introduce non-plastic bricks

Lego has dropped plans to switch from oil-based plastic in its products to the renewable RPET plastic, CEO Niels Christiansen said in an interview with the Financial Times.

It is not possible to make a switch to RPET from the ABS plastic currently in use within the framework of sustainable production, according to the director.

“We have tested hundreds of materials” but without finding the type needed for purpose, he said.

In early 2020, Lego said it had committed to carbon neutral production within the next ten years.

The company said at the time that, by 2030, all Lego bricks would be manufactured from sustainable plastic made from materials such as sugar cane or wood, replacing fossil fuel-based plastics.

READ ALSO: Lego to turn all its bricks ‘green’ by 2030

But attempts to use RPET have shown that production with the material would in fact result in higher CO2 emissions, it said.

Legos told news wire Ritzau that the setback with RPET plastic does not mean it has scrapped its ambition of finding more sustainable plastic materials.