Long known as one of the world’s most forward-thinking countries, it should come as no surprise that Denmark has taken a strong interest in environmental sustainability. Vegetarians and vegans now have more reason to celebrate the nation than ever. In early October, the Danish government announced an unprecedented plan to boost the production of plant-based food. With a staggering 1.25 billion kroner (almost $200 million) dedicated solely to the endeavor, the nation of only 5.8 million citizens will enact the biggest investment into a plant-based in European history.

This decision came at the urging of Danish citizens. In a 2020 poll, 60% of Danes agreed that their country should take a leadership position in the transition to more plant-based food production. As a result, all parliamentary political parties in Denmark backed the investment.

One of the document’s primary goals is to incentivize farmers to switch to plant-based growing operations rather than force them into it legally. A five-year plan will pay out 580 million Kroner in bonuses to farmers to grow plant-based protein crops. Ideally, this will set Denmark up to be a major player in a greener future for all of Europe and countries beyond.

In six years, Western Europe’s market for plant-based food is expected to be worth 460 billion Kroner. Two years later, the market is expected to reach 870 billion Kroner. With a head start in production, the investment has the potential to pay off in a huge way. Danish leaders also hope that their neighbors will take notice and implement similar measures in their own countries.

The document outlines several other measures that promote sustainability in Denmark, including goals to reduce tree harvests and expand forested regions of the country. 

The announcement of this investment comes less than one month from the start of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. It remains to be seen what will be said about Denmark’s leadership position in the fight against global climate change, but hopes are high among those who believe in a future for sustainable living. The measure marks an important step in their ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030.

Vegans and vegetarians across the world should rejoice in this incredible development, but it is only one step in the process. If we work together, we can promote more plant-based investments and work toward not only meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and beyond, but towar making a better world for all beings on the planet.