According to a recent article in the Independent, Denmark’s ethics council is calling for a tax on red meat to help fight climate change.
As cattle contribute one-tenth of global methane emissions, the government think tank says people are “ethically obliged” to change their eating habits.
The council proposes that the tax start with beef because of its large environmental impact, but suggests it eventually be expanded to all foods at varying levels depending on climate impact. The measure garnered the overwhelming majority of council votes and will now be put forward for consideration by the government.
A press release states that this measure is key to meeting the United Nations’ recent COP21 Paris climate change goals that aim to keep the global temperature rise well below 2°C.
Meat taxes aren’t new. Late last year, Chatham House, a British think tank, released a study recommending governments implement a meat tax to fight climate change.
The Chatham report asserts that any resistance to a meat tax would be short-lived. People would initially resist it, as they have cigarette taxes, but provided government officials offered a clear rationale, they would grow to accept the need for such a measure.
The connection between meat consumption and climate change has been making headlines. Just take a look at this VICE News piece detailing the dramatic impacts a typical Western diet has on our planet.
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