Pricing food according to its climate impacts could save half a million lives and one billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions
Taxing greenhouse gas emissions from food production could save more emissions than are currently generated by global aviation, and lead to half a million fewer deaths from chronic diseases, according to a new study published in Nature Climate Change.
...Much of the emissions reduction would stem from higher prices and lower consumption of animal products, as their emissions are particularly high. The researchers found that beef would have to be 40% more expensive globally to pay for the climate damage caused by its production. The price of milk and other meats would need to increase by up to 20%, and the price of vegetable oils would also increase significantly.
...“If you’d have to pay 40% more for your steak, you might choose to have it once a week instead of twice,” said Dr Springmann...
The abstract of the study;
Mitigation potential and global health impacts from emissions pricing of food commodities
Marco Springmann, Daniel Mason-D’Croz, Sherman Robinson, Keith Wiebe, H. Charles J. Godfray, Mike Rayner & Peter Scarborough
...levying greenhouse gas taxes on food commodities could, if appropriately designed, be a health-promoting climate policy in high-income countries, as well as in most low- and middle-income countries. Sparing food groups known to be beneficial for health from taxation, selectively compensating for income losses associated with tax-related price increases, and using a portion of tax revenues for health promotion are potential policy options that could help avert most of the negative health impacts experienced by vulnerable groups, whilst still promoting changes towards diets which are more environmentally sustainable.
This proposal, from a group of people who have probably never missed a meal in their lives, is totally obscene.
High income countries often have a lot of poor people who would be hard hit by increases in the price of food.
Needlessly exacerbating the risk poor people don’t get enough to eat, especially children and pregnant mothers, who are especially vulnerable to adverse health impacts from lack of protein in their diet – if this ghastly proposal is ever implemented, future generations will look upon it as a crime against humanity."