The Guardian: Tax Meat to Hit Paris Agreement Climate Targets

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to The Guardian, food intake in rich countries must be cut, especially meat intake, or it will be impossible to stay below 1.5C global warming.

Global food production emissions ‘would put Paris agreement out of reach’

Study calls for more focus on farming and food waste, behind a third of greenhouse gas production

Fiona Harvey Environment correspondent
Fri 6 Nov 2020 06.00 AEDT

While emissions from some other carbon-intensive sectors, such as energy generation, have been slowing as clean technology is more widely adopted, farming has received less attention from policymakers. But if emissions from food production continue on current trends, they will rise to a cumulative 1,356 gigatons by the end of the century, according to a study in the journal Science.

If emissions from food production are to be cut to safe levels, diets in rich countries are also likely to have to change. “These countries are primarily those that are middle or high income where dietary intake and consumption of meat, dairy and eggs is on average well above [health] recommendations,” said Clark, citing the UK, the US, Australia, Europe, Brazil and Argentina, and countries such as China where meat consumption is high and increasing.

Any such changes would benefit people’s health and help to solve the obesity crises stalking many rich societies. “Diets need to shift to contain less food in general, such that caloric intake is in line with healthier quantities, and less meat, dairy and eggs, such that consumption of these foods is in line with dietary recommendations,” said Clark.

The paper does not specify the policy remedies likely to be required, but there are increasing calls from campaigners and health professionals for reform. Earlier this week, health professionals in the UK called for a tax on meat to help tackle the climate crisis and improve health.

Clark told the Guardian: “Taxes might be part of the solution, but they will not be the only solution. If food taxes to reduce emissions are implemented, we need to make sure they are not regressive and do not have a large negative impact on the people least able to afford the tax.”

Read more:

Of all the interventions climate advocates promote, their plans to interfere with food production are the most terrifying.

If history teaches us anything, that lesson is food abundance is fragile; Venezuela, the Soviet Union, North Korea, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Mao’s China; history has given us a long list of examples, of what happens when governments get in the way of food production.

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via Watts Up With That?

November 6, 2020 at 12:14AM

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