Denmark mulls taxing beef to fight climate change

Denmark is considering taxing beef and other red meats in an effort to fight climate change - Photo Credit: Flickr

The Danish Council of Ethics, an independent advisor to the Danish government, annouced that Danes could fulfill their duty on battling climate change by reducing their meat consumption. This action would be encouraged by a new tax on beef and other red meats that is currently being mulled by the country. The tax, which is supported by the majority of the members of the Council would start on beef before moving onto other red meats and foods deemed harmful to the environment.

Animal agriculture —or farming—, makes up for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions, with cattle releasing 10% of all emissions. Moreover, 43,000 liters of freshwater are necessary to produce just 1kg of beef. It is safe to say that to truly make an impact and move closer to achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, current practices in food production need to be tackled and the Danish Council of Ethics deems this new tax an effective way to send a clear signal on climate-change awareness. Read the full article from the Tech Times below:


The price of steaks might increase in Denmark because the country mulls about taxing beef and other red meats in its battle against climate change.

The Danish Council of Ethics, an independent body that advises the government, announced that Danes have an ethical obligation to reduce the impact of climate change and they could do this by lowering their red meat consumption.

"An effective response to climate-damaging foods that will also contribute to raising awareness of climate change must be united, which requires that society sends a clear signal through regulation," said Mickey Gjerris, a spokesman for the council.

All Types Of Red Meat Could Be Taxed In The Future

The majority of council members (14 of 17) said they support the "red meat tax." The council recommends an initial tax on beef, but will include other red meats in the future.

It added that other food products that will be deemed harmful to the environment could also be taxed.

"The Danish way of life is far from climate-sustainable, and if we are to live up to the Paris Agreement target of keeping the global temperature rise 'well' below 2 degrees Celsius, it is necessary both to act quickly and involve food," the council said.

Animal Agriculture: Key Driver Of Climate Change

Animal agriculture accounts for about 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than the overall emissions from all types of transport across the globe, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization said.

It is a common notion that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels are the key factor that contributes to the growing problem of global warming. Scientists, however, believe that there are other key factors that contribute to climate change, including global food production, animal agriculture and waste disposal.

Animal agriculture or farming may be one of the major key drivers of climate change. This produces two other main greenhouse gases, which are methane and nitrous oxide.

About 10 percent of all emissions are from cattle and more than 43,000 liters of fresh water are required to manufacture just 1 kg (2.2 pounds) of beef.

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