Tax Meat Until No One Eats It Anymore, Says UN Climate Change Report

(DANIEL JENNINGS)  Meat production should be taxed to save the environment and prevent global warming, a United Nations report is recommending.

Professor Maarten Hajer of Utrecht University in the Netherlands authored the report, released by the UN’s International Research Panel (IRP), which is comprised of 34 scientists and 30 governments.

“All of the harmful effects on the environment and on health needs to be priced into food products,” Hajer told The Washington Post. “I think it is extremely urgent.”

Meat, he argued, should be taxed at the wholesale level to raise the price and deter consumption. He and other members of the IRP assert that livestock creates 14.5 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions that the panel says contribute to climate change.

Taxes are needed to deter increases in meat consumption in nations like China, he said.

“We think it’s better to price meats earlier in the chain,” Hajer told The Guardian. “It’s sexier to tax it at the consumer level, but not as effective.”

“If we were all to copycat the way in which we feed ourselves in North America or Europe [with meat], the planet would be in deep trouble,” Hajer added.

Nations should discourage their citizens from eating meat, the report says.

“This report shows our current food system has to change because it’s not sustainable,” Hajer said.

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