Danish fisheries associations, the DFA and DPPO, have united in their call for a reasonable perspective on CO2 tax policy for fishing industry
Danish fisheries associations, the Danish Fishermen’s Association (DFA) and the Danish Pelagic Producer’s Organisation (DPPO) have united in their call for a reasonable perspective on CO2 tax policy in an article published on altinget.dk called “Fisheries associations: CO2 tax is a climate policy end in itself”.
In the article on the joint statement, they say:
When green alternatives do not exist, CO2 tax is not a wise solution. It will only impair competitiveness and green development, writes Svend-Erik Andersen of the DFA and Esben Sverdrup-Jensen of the DPPO and President of the European Association of Fish Producers (EAPO).
A CO2 tax on fishing will put the greenery of fishing, thousands of jobs and an entire industry at risk. Alternative green fuels are under development but not yet profitable. Thus, the fishery really has no choice: the fishery has to pay CO2 taxes until a green solution is possible. It will give red numbers on the bottom line and slow down the green transition. It’s completely black.
Do they adequately take into account everything from the guiding principles of the Climate Act, Danish competitiveness, sound public finances, employment, social balance and leakage?
Which model is preferable and why?
On 8 February, the Committee of Experts on Green Tax Reform presented its proposal for a CO2 tax to turbo-charge the green transition. In Danish fisheries, we share the ambition of putting a turbo on the green transition. Therefore, since 1990, we have reduced our CO2 emissions by more than 60 percent and thus taken a clear responsibility.
But contrary to the intention to provide incentives to promote green conversion, CO2 taxes will pull the economy out of fishing, drown the green conversion of fisheries and cost thousands of regionally concentrated jobs.
Green fuels are not yet an option
A very basic precondition for a wise CO2 tax is real green alternatives that are far enough advanced in the development that conversion to them is a profitable alternative to emitting CO2.
Despite interesting perspectives, there is unfortunately a long way to go before Danish fishermen can fill the tank with sustainable fuels.
Therefore, it will be a massive climate self-goal to introduce a CO2 tax, where the only option for the individual fisherman is to pay the tax, as alternative green fuels are still far from economically sustainable. This will force Danish fishermen on the line to stop fishing.
The expert group itself acknowledges in the report that the fishery may be forced to significantly reduce production or close down because green technology remains costly.
CO2 tax will slow down green conversion
Seen from the bridge on our vessels, a CO2 tax will entail two things:
On the one hand, a slowdown in the green transition of the fishery, because when you drain a business of capital, there is no money to invest in the innovation that will give us the green solutions of the future. And then it ends up with the CO2 tax phasing out the fishing industry instead of promoting investment in green development. It is against the intention.
At the same time, it will not mean less fishing in the seas if the production of Danish fisheries is reduced. It will only lead to leakage, where either fuel is refueled in other countries, or where other countries’ fishermen take over both the catch, the jobs and the CO2 emissions. If a Danish tax is imposed on Danish fisheries so that it loses its profitability, in other words it will not mean less CO2 emissions. On the contrary.
Therefore, a CO2 tax on the fishery will drown the fishery’s ever greener ambitions and action together with 16,000 man-years and a GDP contribution of 13.6 billion kroner. In Danish fisheries, we are ready to take our share of responsibility for the green transition.
Therefore, we propose that the CO2 tax be arranged so that there are still Danish-caught fish in the refrigerated counters, regional fishing jobs in the ports and a real green transformation of the fishing industry. We look forward to discussing this with the politicians.