According to the government’s independent expert, Danes should consume two-thirds less meat in order to meet the nation’s ambitious climate targets by the end of the decade.
One of the main suggestions made by the Danish Climate Council was to impose a charge on foods that are climate-unfriendly.
According to the head of the council, Peter Mollgaard, beef is one of the goods with the largest climate imprint, and the report suggested placing a tax of almost 33% on it.
The advice was included in a yearly assessment of Denmark’s progress toward meeting a legally required goal of lowering CO2 emissions by 70% from 1990 levels.
According to the study, Danes consume more than twice as much animal food as people around the world on average, including pork, beef, and dairy.
Danes are among the populations with the highest emission rates worldwide when diet-related emissions are taken into account.
Roast pork is a staple of Danish cuisine as the country is a large producer of pork, having more slaughtered pigs than residents.
Reducing meat to meet climate targets
The Danish government’s diet recommendations to reduce meat consumption could have a significant impact on the country’s carbon footprint. According to the council, if all Danes adhere to the guidelines and reduce their meat consumption to 350 grams per week from the current average of just under 1 kilogram, it could result in a reduction of 2.6 to 3.9 million tons of CO2-equivalents annually.
This reduction would represent a significant step towards Denmark’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030 and becoming carbon-neutral by 2050. In 2020, Denmark produced 65 million tons of CO2-equivalents, and reducing meat consumption could contribute to a substantial reduction in emissions.
Meat production has a significant environmental impact, as it requires large amounts of land, water, and feed, and releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas. By reducing meat consumption, Danes could help reduce the demand for meat and promote more sustainable and environmentally-friendly diets.
The council suggested last week a farm emissions fee in an effort of lowering meat and dairy production.
Present sustainable agricultural practices are not enough
Denmark is a small European country with a population of just over 5.8 million people, but it is a global leader in sustainable agriculture and renewable energy. More than half of Denmark’s land is under cultivation, which makes it one of the most intensively cultivated nations in the world. Danish farmers have innovative and sustainable agricultural practices, such as precision farming, crop rotation, and integrated pest management.
The Danish government has also taken significant steps to reduce the country’s carbon footprint and combat climate change. The council recently advocated for accelerating initiatives to cut greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, which includes reducing the use of fertilizers and optimizing livestock diets. Additionally, they recommended phasing out gas furnaces in homes and expanding wind and solar energy to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.
Denmark has set ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030 and become carbon-neutral by 2050. To achieve these goals, the country is investing heavily in renewable energy and clean technology. Denmark is already a world leader in wind energy, and the government has set a target to produce 100% of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030.