In a letter sent to presidents and ministers of 50 countries, 35 members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and 15 other countries where meat consumption levels are above international guidelines, the Future Food initiative Pricing calls for change and asks that the creation of a carbon tax for meat and dairy products be studied in depth.
The way in which animal products are currently consumed is incompatible with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement, the latter of which aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change and maintain the increase in global average temperature below 2°C.
“We suggest starting with meat and dairy and lowering taxes on healthy foods. Lower levels of animal protein consumption will not only improve national public health and thus reduce healthcare costs, but will simultaneously reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss said as spoken person of the Carbon Pricing for Food Coalition.
In an evident concern about climate change and the lack of political decision to tax foods that have a high ecological footprint, the letter proposes two main points to world leaders:
- Publicly announce the increase of taxes to carbon price of meat and dairy products or initiate feasibility studies.
- Use revenue from increased meat and dairy taxes to compensate low-income groups. For example, by reducing taxes on low-carbon foods such as vegetables, fruits and plant-based products, and by compensating farmers.
Reducing the consumption of meat and dairy products is essential to protect human and planetary health, since their excessive consumption increases the risks of non-communicable diseases such as stroke, diabetes, cancer and obesity. In addition, its production causes almost 60% of global biodiversity loss and is the main cause of tropical deforestation.
As part of the global strategy to attack one of the greatest threats to the environment such as animal agriculture, more than 40,000 actors, including companies, individuals, organizations and cities from across the globe have signed the Plant-Based Treaty that also calls for an immediate replacement of animal-based food with a more sustainable and healthy diet.
At SOS Animals Colombia we support these initiatives that seek a better future for all and we urge the incoming Colombian government to adopt this proposal as one of the measures to mitigate climate change, prevent a food crisis and ensure the protection of biodiversity in the country.