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A tax on high carbon food and sugar, that’s what the University of Oxford suggests

A combination of a carbon tax on food whose production generates large amounts of CO2 and a tax on sugary drinks could lead to health benefits for people and the environment.

Taxing the carbon footprint of food and combining this with a 20% sales tax on sugary drinks, could lead to health benefits, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and raise up to 3.6 billion pound revenue in the UK. That’s what a study conducted by the University of Oxford and published in the BMC PublicHealth journal says.

 

tax sugar
Researchers at the University of Oxford propose a tax on high carbon food combined with one on sugary drinks.

 

“Some studies have found that diets low in greenhouse gases are also better for health, mainly arising from people eating less meat and more plants. However, some foods buck this trend, for example sugar is low in greenhouse gas emissions yet bad for health”, researchers explained.

 

pulses

 

Researchers supposed to levy a carbon tax of 2.86 pounds per tonne of CO2 on those foods that generate a larger amount of greenhouse gas emissions than average in their food group. The tax revenues so collected could become subsidies for low carbon foods such as fruit, vegetables and pulses. The combination of the two taxes would cut the UK’s emissions by 18.9 million tonnes per year, delaying or averting more than 1,200 deaths. Under the reaserchers’ scenario, a levy on 100 g of beef would raise its price by 1.79 pounds, while a levy on the same weight of eggs would increase their price by 0.03 pounds.

 

carbon tax meat
Researchers supposed to levy a carbon tax of 2.86 pounds per tonne of CO2 on those foods that generate a larger amount of greenhouse gas emissions than average in their food group.

 

Experts predict that beef and lamb consumption would decrease, while pork and poultry consumption would increase. The consumption of different types of fat and intake of more vegetable fibres every day would improve heart’s health and reduce the odds of cancer in consumers.

 

The study finally highlighted that a change in food habits together with the introduction of taxes could help the United Kingdom to meet its goal of cutting CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050.

 

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