Danish farmers required to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030

File photo of DONG Energy's power station in Kalundborg
A general view shows DONG Energy's power station, which provides steam, ash and gypsum as waste products to other companies for their use in Kalundborg, Denmark, November 20, 2015. REUTERS/Sabina Zawadzki

COPENHAGEN, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Denmark's agricultural and forestry sector must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% and 65% by 2030 compared with 1990 levels, a majority in parliament agreed.

The new legally binding target is part of the government's action plan towards reaching 70% reductions by 2030, one of the most ambitious climate goals in the world.

Without any new initiatives, the sector's greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 is estimated at roughly 15 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents, the government said.

"With a binding goal, we ensure that the agricultural sector delivers a historically high reduction and that we focus on plant protein, pyrolysis and organics," said Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Rasmus Prehn.

The agreement also includes a target to reduce nitrogen emissions by 10,800 tonnes in 2027.

It said roughly 3.8 billion Danish crowns ($593 million) of state funds would be funnelled towards the sector's green transformation as part of the agreement.

While the Danish Agriculture & Food Council, the industry's lobby organisation, said it was broadly satisfied with the agreement, environmental group Greenpeace was more sceptical, calling it "unambitious".

"A binding reduction target for agriculture of as little as 55% by 2030 is a parody which pushes responsibility on to other sectors," said Kristine Clement, campaign lead at Greenpeace Denmark, in a statement.

($1 = 6.4126 Danish crowns)

Reporting by Stine Jacobsen, Editing by Louise Heavens

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