Writer Ben Dolbear examines advice from a leading US think tank recommending the introduction of a global levy on red meat in an attempt to reduce consumption and fight climate change.
Photo by Alex Azabache
Fitch Solutions Macro Research, a leading macroeconomic analysis group, has suggested that red meat may soon follow sugar in becoming the next target of the 'sin tax' as concerns over climate change grow to record levels.
People are more aware and concerned today about the interrelated issues of climate change, deforestation, and animal cruelty than ever before, meaning that pressure is being put on government's to help reduce global intake of red meat.
Currently, humanity consumes an unsustainable 315 million tonnes of meat, a number that is widely expected to surge to 453 million by 2030, as the Earth's population level increases to well above eight billion. Over-consumption of red meat has several damaging, unintended consequences for the environment, including deforestation on an unprecedented level. Currently, it takes an area of vegetation more than seven times the size of the European Union to produce food for the cattle and livestock consumed in Europe.
The last decade has seen a marked increase of government intervention through taxation of products deemed undesirable for public health, such as cigarettes, alcohol, and sugar, but this newest move against red meat would show a commitment that administrations across the world are serious about the Earth and its future.