Danish fishermen joined truckers in protest over government plans to introduce a CO2 per kilometre tax on commercial transport
Danish fishermen showed their displeasure with their government’s plans to introduce a CO2 tax on commercial transport, with several protests taking place in ports across the country yesterday.
The Danish Government has plans to introduce a CO2 per kilometre tax for lorries. Fishermen claim that the tax will make it significantly more expensive on them, imposing more hardship on an industry that has already been hit by the fallout from Brexit and rising energy costs caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In solidarity and concerns over rising costs to do business, the Danish Fishermen’s Association joined lorry drivers demonstrating over the proposals. Boats took to protesting in the ports of Hirtshals, Frederikshavn and Helsingør.
The director of Danish Fishermen’s Association Kenn Skau Fischer said, “We share the road tax committee’s frustration, and we agree that there are better models to support the green conversion of road freight transport than the upcoming km tax in its planned form. We encourage everyone to be inspired by the road tax committee’s points and suggestions. You don’t have to agree with all the proposals, as long as you arrive at a better model for the green transformation of road freight transport than the current kilometre tax suggests.”
Danish MEP and vice-chair of the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee, Asger Christensen criticised the government’s plans saying:
“I understand both truckers and fishermen! As long as there are no alternatives, the CO2 tax is just an additional tax imposed on some businesses that have no opportunity to adapt.
“Now let’s get new technologies on the field so that engines and fuel can be replaced in a sustainable way.
“Carrot rather than a whip.”
The Danish Transport and Logistic organisation, DLT – Danske Vognmænd, has threatened to throw out members who participated in yesterday’s protests, which the organisation deemed illegal.
“If some of our member companies participate, and it is a matter of damaging the industry’s image in a more serious sense, DTL’s board has some tools under the ethical rules. In the extreme, the board can choose to exclude a member. The option has been used in the past, but not very often,” says Erik Østergaard of DLT.
Business organisation, Dansk Industri Transport has also distant itself from the protests with industry director Karsten Lauritzen saying, “We share the opposition to the tax, but not the methods that have been used here, where goods and people are prevented from arriving.”