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EU: “sustainability charge” on meat urged amid climate crisis

An additional tax on meat might be Europe’s answer to today’s climate emergency.

According to a recently published report, a “sustainability charge” could help cover the cost of environmental damage as a result of meat production. This could also help farmers produce food of better quality and promote healthier eating amongst consumers.

The fee is expected to increase steak prices by about 25 percent in the United Kingdom. It will be introduced and then dispersed over the next decade. The report, which targets countries in the EU, claims that “fair pricing” for meat products should be considered for the upcoming European “green new deal”.

CE Delft — the environmental research group that developed the report — studied the cost of air and water pollution, wildlife loss, and greenhouse gas emissions involved in producing livestock. The group estimates that with these factors considered, the price of beef should increase by €0.47 per 100g in the EU.

Tax on pork and chicken would be lower in contrast due to their lesser environmental impact with a levy of €0.36 per 100g and €0.17 per 100g respectively. The report estimates that the added fees could reduce beef consumption by 67 percent in the EU, 57 percent in pork consumption and 30 percent in chicken consumption within a decade.

Tapp Coalition director Jeroom Remmers discussed the matter saying, “Europeans eat roughly 50% more meat than is recommended in dietary health guidelines. [So] we could also save billions of euros every year in lower healthcare costs.”