Meat tax ‘inevitable’ to beat climate and health crises, says report

A tax on meat looks certain. It’s needed to reduce CO2 and and improve human health.

The global livestock industry causes 15 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Meat consumption is rising around the world.  Dangerous climate change cannot be stopped unless people eat less meat. Many people eat too much meat. This is damaging their health. Livestock also cause other problems, such as water pollution and antibiotic resistance.

A new analysis says that meat is now following the same path as tobacco, carbon emissions and sugar towards a tax. Meat taxes were discussed in Germany, Denmark and Sweden. China’s government cut its recommended meat consumption by 45% in 2016.

Governments want to reduce obesity. diabetes and cancer. They also want to stop climate change and antibiotic resistance. To achieve these goals, a tax on meat will be necessary, said Jeremy Coller, chief investment officer at Coller Capital. “Wise investors should plan ahead for this day.”

Maria Lettini, director of Fairr, said: “We may see some form of meat tax within 5-10 years.”

A survey in 2016 found taxes of 40% on beef, 20% on dairy products and 8.5% on chicken would save half a million lives a year. It would also reduce climate warming emissions.

In 2016, Chatham House found people were willing to change for the global good. It said people are not aware of the problems related to eating animals.. Using money from a meat tax to make healthy foods cheaper will help.

Marco Springmann, University of Oxford, said: “Current levels of meat consumption are not healthy or sustainable. Taxing meat could be a first and important step.”

“There are huge opportunities in the market,” said Lettini. “If we can start replacing meat protein with plant-based protein that has the same look, taste and feel as meat,  we are changing the world.”

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