Tax Red Meat to Reduce Climate Change

Target: Pia Kjærsgaard, Speaker of the Danish Parliament

Goal: Reduce Denmark’s impact on climate change with a “red meat tax.”

The Danish Council on Ethics proposed a “red meat tax” in order to minimize Denmark’s impact on climate change. The council correctly concluded that lowering red meat consumption is a logical way to reduce their country’s carbon footprint. According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than exhaust from all forms of transportation worldwide. The beef industry has a particularly large impact on greenhouse gas emissions and natural resource consumption; to produce one pound of beef requires 2,640 gallons of water.

The Danish Council on Ethics serves as an advisory body to the Danish Parliament. Since 14 of 17 members of the council support the red meat tax, one would hope Parliament will take the council’s recommendation. However, the Danish Agricultural and Food Council does not want this red meat tax to pass, because it would have a negative impact on meat sales.

Sign the petition below to encourage the Danish Parliament to listen to the ethics council, not the agricultural council, and pass a red meat tax to reduce their country’s impact on climate change.


Dear Speaker Kjærsgaard,

As I am sure you are already aware, the Danish Council on Ethics recommended that Denmark pass a red meat tax in order to reduce the country’s impact on climate change. I am writing to encourage you and your fellow members of Parliament to abide by the ethics council’s recommendation.

Animal agriculture is one of the biggest drivers of climate change—even bigger than the transportation industry. Beef has, by far, the worst environmental impact of any food because of the amount of resources required to produce it and the amount of fossil fuels that must be burned during the production process. Since the vast majority of people do not know how their food is produced, the environmental impact of eating meat is not immediately apparent to them. Your ethics council is correct in arguing that a tax on beef is a necessary incentive to encourage individuals to reduce their beef consumption.

Leaders in the agricultural industry will try to argue that a tax on beef will not affect climate change. Do not listen to them; they are only protecting their economic interests. Mountains and mountains of evidence have proven that animal agriculture is a significant cause of climate change, and reducing meat consumption will definitely have a positive impact on the earth. I strongly urge you to pass a beef tax to make Denmark a greener country.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Julia Frost

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  1. Dave Voisey says:

    As a UK citizen I am careful about getting involved in other countries affairs. However, climate change affects all of us and this does seem to be a very sensible idea.

  2. Lajeanne Leveton says:

    HOW about here in the U.S.? Sounds like a good idea to me!

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