A London-based think tank that supports slashing meat consumption is calling for the radical diet change to be "high on the list" of strategies studied by world leaders gathering in Paris next week to discuss global warming.
In its report,
Chatham House says cutting down on meat-eating can prevent global warming by 2 degrees by the end of the century, declaring that the cultivation of animals is responsible for about 15 percent of the world's carbon emissions.
"As governments look for strategies to close the Paris emissions gap quickly and cheaply, dietary change should be high on the list,” report author Laura Wellesley writes.
The think tank is also recommending government interventions and initiatives to make meat eating less attractive – and Americans, who eat more meat than most people in other countries, will likely be a top target, Libertarian Republic reports.
Among the recommendations is a so-called carbon tax.
“Interventions to change the relative prices of foods are likely to be among the most effective in changing consumption patterns,” the report notes, adding countries should aim "to increase the price of meat and other unsustainable products" through a carbon tax.
One analyst slammed the idea as dangerous.
“Which will be the first group of people to be harmed by these taxes?” asks Marlo Lewis Jr., a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Libertarian Republic reports. "It’s the poor obviously."
“A better-fed population is more productive, and a more productive population makes food more abundant and secure. The Chatham House proposal would break this virtuous cycle of progress at both ends."
He also slams the report's goal of becoming part of the conversation at the global warming conference, calling it akin to “taking Michael Bloomberg’s policies and trying to make a treaty out of it.”
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