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Danes support new or increased climate taxes: poll

A majority of Danes support placing extra fees on goods and services that damage the environment.

Danes support new or increased climate taxes: poll
Only 39 percent of respondents to the poll said they supported increasing fees on air travel. Photo: David Leth Williams/Scanpix 2017

According to a survey carried out by Kantar Gallup on behalf of newspaper Berlingske, 57 percent of people support introducing charges for goods that damage the environment, or increasing existing ones.

That reflects a change in the public perception of the importance of tackling climate change, according to professor Sebastian Mernild, author of an upcoming UN climate report.

“When so many people are positively inclined towards a tax, that suggests that we are not scared away by increased costs on everyday goods,” Mernild told Berlingske.

“It also indicates that people do not believe we can solve our problems via individual actions, rather that political action is required,” he added.

Environmentalist party Alternative has already proposed increased taxes on meat and air travel.

Only 39 percent of respondents to the Kantar Gallup poll said they supported increasing fees on air travel, however.

Other political parties appear lukewarm to the suggestion by Alternative.

“If you stop people that regularly travel by air from flying, you will need very high fees, and that will place large income groups out of reach,” Social Democrat spokesperson for climate issues Jens Joel told Berlingske.

Joel’s party would prefer to implement international agreements to regulate air traffic as well as food production.

The Liberal Alliance (LA) party, a junior party in the coalition government, also said it did not believe higher climate taxes were the way forward on the environment.

“It would throw off Danish competitiveness and the Danish economy and could result in agriculture moving out of Denmark and into other countries that are less climate-friendly,” LA’s climate spokesperson Carsten Bach told Berlingske.

A new climate plan is expected to be presented by the government later this year.

READ ALSO: Denmark revives goal to be coal free by 2030 at UN climate summit

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Danish parliament gives go ahead to giant artificial island off Copenhagen

Denmark's parliament has given the go-ahead to build Lynetteholm, a giant artificial island that will protect Copenhagen's harbour waters from rising sea levels at the same times as providing homes for 35,000 people.

Danish parliament gives go ahead to giant artificial island off Copenhagen
How the island will look while udner construction. Photo: By og Havn

The bill empowering the government to push ahead with the project passed with a massive majority of 85 in favour and 12 against, opening the way for work to push ahead on the 2.8 square kilometer island early as this autumn.

In a short debate on Friday morning, Thomas Jensen, the Social Democrat MP coordinating the bill, dismissed claims that not enough had been done to assess the environmental consequences of what has been described as the largest construction project in Danish history.

“Of the bills I have helped to implement here in the parliament, this is the one which has been most thoroughly discussed, with expert consultations, technical reviews, and almost 200 questions to the Ministry of Transport, which have been answered by the rapporteurs,” he said. “So in terms of process, it is completely worked out.”

READ ALSO: 

Ahead of the vote protesters from the Stop Lynetteholm Facebook group staged a protest outside the parliament, with many dressed in Sean the Sheep costumes. 

Protesters dressed as sheep staged a demonstration against the Lynetteholm project outside the parliament. Photo: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

The parliamentary vote is not the last hurdle.

The project is also being challenged in the European Court of Justice, on the grounds that the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA)  have looked at the impact of constructing the island itself, but not of the roads, metro lines, housing and other developments which will go on it.

Lynetteholm is being built partly as a coastal protection project, with a dam that will protect Copenhagen from future storm surges.

The plan was first announced in 2018 by the then Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, and the then Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Frank Jensen. 

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