UK will not approve a ‘meat tax’ to tackle carbon emissions, official says – Totally Vegan Buzz

UK will not approve a ‘meat tax’ to tackle carbon emissions, official says

UK will not approve a 'meat tax' to tackle carbon emissions, offical says
Image: Joni Hanebutt / Shutterstock.com

The new ‘meat tax’ would have seen prices for meat and cheese rise sharply but a senior official said the government has “no intention of putting a carbon tax on meat or other food products”.

Boris Johnson has rejected the plan of introducing a ‘meat tax’ as a way to fight against carbon emissions.

According to a senior official in the Prime Minister’s office, the government has “no intention of putting a carbon tax on meat or other food products”.

The proposed tax – which would be part of plans to meet the UK’s net-zero carbon emissions pledge – was in consideration after increasing pressure to review the prices of meat due to its environmental impact.

‘Polluter pays’

This prompted the PM to order government departments to produce a “price” for carbon emissions across the economy.

Calculations from a team at Oxford University showed that beef could incur a 40 % surcharge while lamb prices could increase by 15% based on the “polluter pays” principle for carbon-intensive goods and services.

Earlier this year, environmental research group CE Delft said that increasing the price of beef by as much as 25% could cover the production’s environmental impact.

Governments consider introducing meat tax
Image: José Ignacio Pompé on Unsplash

‘Not going to happen’

However, a senior No10 official said in a statement: “This is categorically not going to happen.

“We will not be imposing a meat tax on the great British banger or anything else.”

Top Tory Neil Parish, Chair of the Environment Committee, told The Sun taxing meat would hit people struggling to put food on the table during the pandemic.

He said: “There’s a lot we can do before we get to a tax.

“As a dairy, beef and sheep farmer in the past, the idea of a meat tax would drive me slightly over the top.

“We have to remember that there’s a lot of people out there still struggling to buy food.

“It’s the poorest in society who would pay for it – and they may not change their habits anyway.”

Proposed meat tax could slash EU meat consumption by half over the next decade
Image: defotoberg / shutterstock.com

‘Heavy bias against meat’

Pro-meat lobbies have also voiced their opinions against increasing meat prices.

Neil Shand, from the National Beef Association, said: “Britain’s meat industry is given a lot of unfair criticism over its environmental impact.”

National Pig Association chairman Richard Lister added: “There has been a heavy bias against meat when it comes to climate change discussions.” 

But financial experts state that taxes would almost certainly have to rise in the next five years following the economy being ravaged by the pandemic.

UK’s 2030 climate targets

The Daily Mail reports that ‘proposals are being drawn up for a carbon reduction blueprint to be unveiled ahead of the UN COP26 climate change summit being hosted by the UK in Glasgow in November’.

Last year, PM Johnson pledged to slash UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than two-thirds in the next decade to fight climate change.

Despite warnings that it will be a ‘colossal challenge’, the politician beefed up a previous target of reducing emissions by 61% on 1990 levels to 68% by 2030.

He said the steep target was necessary to set the country ‘on course to hit net zero by 2050’.

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