The EU considers the introduction of meat tax to tackle climate change

Yvonne O'Halloran

According to a new report by the Dutch advocacy group, in order to reduce European CO2 emissions, a levy should be placed on meat to lower consumption across the continent. The Amsterdam-based True Animal Protein Price Coalition (TAPPC) organised a summit this week that brought together key EU leaders to discuss creating a sustainability tax to reduce meat consumption in Europe. The coalition consists of various agricultural, climate and health NGOs. The TAPPC states that a tax on beef, pork and chicken could see up to a 70% drop in meat-eating by 2030.“The plan is to increase the price of meat across the EU to reflect its environmental costs, including CO2 emissions and biodiversity loss” according to the report.

Under the plan, the price of meat would go up beginning in 2022. It would add a projected €32.2 billion per year by 2030. Veal and beef prices would increase by 47 cents per 100 grams, 36 cents for pork, and 17 cents for chicken. The money would then be redistributed among farmers to help stimulate more sustainable farming practices. The sustainability charge could also be used to lower VAT and consumer subsidies on products such as fruits and vegetables.

The TAPPC further hopes the tax could provide support to low-income households and nations trying to adapt to the challenges of climate change.

Philip Mansbridge of ProVeg International and a TAPPC member, said “Here we have a solution that is fair for farmers and supports the transition to a more plant-based food system that we so urgently need if we are serious about mitigating climate change.”

According to the TAPPC report, “fair meat prices” could lead to reduced carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) emission by up to 120 million tons per year. This represents 3% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to the combined emissions of Ireland, Denmark, Slovakia, and Estonia.

Western Europeans are some of the highest consumers of meat in the world and on a global scale, the average per capita meat consumption has increased by approximately 20kg since 1961. The meat tax could see an overall drop in consumption of chicken, pork and beef by 30 percent, 57 percent and 67 percent respectively in the next 10 years.




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