EU madness, here is the tax on “flatulence”

Ladies and gentlemen, here we are at Flatulence Taxes. In the name of European green policy, livestock farmers in Denmark will be taxed from 2030 for methane “emissions” from cows, sheep and pigs. It is the first country in the world that decides to tackle climate change in this way. Denmark has one and a half million cows alone (Statistic Denmark 2022 data). Having done the math, in broad terms, we are not far from 400 million euros in proceeds (for cows alone).

Copenhagen has a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70% compared to 1990 levels by 2030. And the new tax is part of this policy. So farmers will have to pay 300 kroner (about 40 euros) for every tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent their livestock produce. The tax will then rise to 750 kroner (about 100 euros) by 2035. However, there will be a 60% deduction from income tax, so the actual cost will initially be 120 kroner (about 16.9 euros) per tonne, rising to 300 kroner (about 40 euros) in 2035. The government’s package includes incentives for farmers to reduce emissions and the 60% tax deduction should be guaranteed for the first two years.
A Danish cow produces on average 6.6 tonnes of CO2 per year (a little less than pigs and sheep). By counting Danish cows, we arrive at millionaire proceeds which, at least in the first period, will be used to support the green transition of the agricultural sector, according to the reassurances of the Copenhagen government. What is not yet clear is how the “emissions” will be measured (
flatulence and burping) of individual animals. Estimates can be made (those 6.6 average tons taken as a parameter), but it is a safe bet that farmers, faced with a tax bill, will demand a precise account.

Before Denmark, New Zealand had tried, with a bill that provided for the taxation of all livestock emissions starting from 2025. But the strong opposition of farmers and breeders, combined with the change of government, has frozen the new tax.

What is certain is that livestock farming is among the main causes of climate change. There are many studies that confirm this. According to the Joint Research Center of the European Commission the livestock sector is responsible for 80% of emissions of ammonia into the air and nitrogen into the water. The UN Environment Program says cows, goats and pigs account for 32% of human-caused methane emissions. And it rises to 40% in Italy. In our country there are intensive farms the second source of fine dust after heating (data Higher Institute for Protection and Research). A large part of the world’s emissions comes from methane, produced by flatulence, burps and cow manure.

In the European Union there are 143 million heads of livestock (Eurostat). At the top of the ranking is Spain, followed by France and Germany. It’s Italy? Fourth position, with over 6 and a half million cattle, eight and a half million pigs or a good eight million sheep and goats. In Denmark, breeders and farmers are on a war footing over the new green tax. What would happen in Italy, where there are 11 cows per 100 inhabitants (with growing numbers)? It is easily predictable.