UK Researchers: Tax Food to Reduce Climate Change

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For those Technocrats who blame man for global warming, the most direct solution would be to just get rid of man, or at least slow his metabolic growth. Thus, taxing food makes perfect sense.  TN Editor

A group of researchers in Oxford University, England have suggested that imposing a massive tax on carbon intensive foods – specifically protein rich foods like meat and dairy – could help combat climate change.

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.

The study, conducted by a team of researchers from the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food at the University of Oxford and the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington DC, is the first global analysis to estimate the impacts that levying emissions prices on food could have on greenhouse gas emissions and human health.

The findings show that about one billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions could be avoided in the year 2020 if emissions pricing of foods were to be implemented, more than the total current emissions from global aviation. However, the authors stress that due consideration would need to be given to ensuring such policies did not impact negatively on low income populations.

“Emissions pricing of foods would generate a much needed contribution of the food system to reducing the impacts of global climate change,” said Dr Marco Springmann of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, who led the study. “We hope that’s something policymakers gathering this week at the Marrakech climate conference will take note of.”

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. The researchers estimate that such price increases would result in around 10% lower consumption of food items that are high in emissions. “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 results indicate that the emissions pricing of foods could, if appropriately designed, be a health-promoting climate-change mitigation policy in high-income, middle-income, and most low-income countries. Special policy attention would be needed in those low-income countries where a high fraction of the population is underweight, and possibly for low-income segments within countries.

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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

The projected rise in food-related greenhouse gas emissions could seriously impede efforts to limit global warming to acceptable levels. Despite that, food production and consumption have long been excluded from climate policies, in part due to concerns about the potential impact on food security. Using a coupled agriculture and health modelling framework, we show that the global climate change mitigation potential of emissions pricing of food commodities could be substantial, and that 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.

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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.

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J Brockett
J Brockett

So I can damage the climate as long as I am willing to pay for the privilege and this payment will then fix the problem. CO2 production is due to life and you think that taxing life is the answer. when a government collects a tax like this you would hope it would be spent on let’s say renewable energy or planting tens of thousands of trees. But it unfortunately is more likely to be spent on war, lining their pockets, special interest groups, whoever is lobbying them today or more research into ways to tax more and wipe out… Read more »

Doug Harrison
Doug Harrison

Well said J Brockett. There is nothing like logic to destroy idiot ideas. However to dignify this nonsense as from “the scientific community” is a bit sad.These people are from New Age science and they have never understood the meaning of the scientific method.


It has already been proven, by a vegetarian survivalist on Naked and Afraid, that, because they were not consuming protein, their body was eating itself, the muscle tissues to be exact. So, they want us to stop eating animal protein and die. They have experimented upon the masses long enough and it’s time for all of us to say no way and charges should be pressed and lawsuits filed against anyone who wants to cause people, the masses, to suffer lifetime physically debilitating consequences from a lack of animal protein. It is clear that they have fallen out of their… Read more »