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ENVIRONMENT

Greenpeace blocks Russian oil delivery off Denmark

A dozen Greenpeace activists in kayaks and swimming in the water blocked the transfer of Russian oil between two tankers off Denmark's coast on Thursday, the environmental organisation said.  

Greenpeace blocks Russian oil delivery off Denmark
This Handout photo made available by Greenpeace shows one of their activists holding an anti-war placard as they float in the water in front of the supertanker Pertamina Prime off the coast of Denmark on March 31st, 2022. Photo: Kristian Buus/AFP/Ritzau Scanpix

Greenpeace organised the action to call for a ban on the import of fossil fuels from Russia, following its invasion of Ukraine.

“At 11am, activists began the blockade of the supertanker Pertamina Prime, preventing the other ship Seaoath from approaching it and blocking the transfer of oil,” Greenpeace spokeswoman Emma Oehlenschlager told AFP.

Both ships are Russian.

Eleven activists rode kayaks or swam in the icy waters off of Frederikshavn, some of them carrying signs calling on governments to “stop fuelling the war”.

The activists painted “Oil fuels war” on the hull of the Pertamina Prime.

Some 100,000 tonnes of crude oil were to be transferred between the two ships.

In the past two weeks, the Danish branch of Greenpeace has carried out several actions against Russian vessels conducting oil transfers, though this was the first successful blockade.

“This is the only time we’ve managed to stop the delivery. In the other instances, the tankers either diverted or accelerated”, Oehlenschlager said.

“They will now maintain the blockade as long as possible to make sure the ships can’t get close to each other to carry out the transfer”, she said, urging Denmark to ban the transfer of Russian oil in its waters.

Greenpeace Denmark tweeted on Friday morning that activists were now being removed from the area by North Jutland Police.

READ ALSO: IN NUMBERS: How much trade does Denmark do with Russia?

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FARMING

Danish agricultural sector softens stance on emissions tax 

After years of firm opposition to any carbon tax on agriculture, the Danish Agriculture & Food Council (Landbrug & Fødevarer) interest organisation is changing tact on a likely tax on CO2 emissions in the sector.

Danish agricultural sector softens stance on emissions tax 

The organisation is to shift strategy from strongly opposing the tax to participating “constructively within negotiations” on a green agricultural tax reform, newspaper Berlingske reports. 

Despite the organisation’s change in stance, its chairperson Søren Søndergaard said he still maintains that taxing agriculture based on CO2 emissions is not sensible climate politics.

“But there has now been an election and there are [ongoing] negotiations to form a government. We can see that the parties that are close to the negotiations all want a CO2 tax on agriculture,” he told Berlingske.

The Danish Agriculture & Food Council (DAFC) therefore wants a seat at the table when the rules –which it accepts are coming — are set.

It has proposed five principles for reform. According to Berlingske, the principles strongly resemble the organisation’s longstanding arguments against a CO2 tax.

READ ALSO: Denmark proposes uniform CO2 tax for most businesses

Among its principles, DAFC wants to retain the 2021 reduction targets at 5 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030. Politicians are considered likely to push for a more ambitious schedule.

Other items on the organisation’s wishlist are measures to protect competitiveness and relocation of jobs; and a promise that funds collected from a CO2 tax will be reinvested in the food industry. It also wants incentives for farmers and companies.

The Liberal (Venstre) party, which could be part of a future government, was previously against the CO2 tax but has also changed its position.

“You can argue against a tax but you will not win,” Liberal leader Jakob Ellemann-Jensen told Danish Agriculture & Food Council representative earlier this month.

“It will happen, because there is a majority behind it,” he said. 

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