Steak should be subject to an extra 40 per cent tax and milk and other meats to 20 per cent, a new study has argued.
A team of researchers wants food to be taxed extra on greenhouse gas emissions from food production.
The team, made up of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food at the University of Oxford and the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington DC, said the changes could save more emissions than are currently generated from global aviation.
They also said it could lead to half a million fewer deaths from chronic diseases by 2020.
“If you’d have to pay 40 per cent more for your steak, you might choose to have it once a week instead of twice,” said Oxford’s Dr Marco Springmann.
The team estimated that all beef products would have to be taxed by this amount to pay for climate damage, while the price of milk and others meats would need to rise 20 per cent. Tax on vegetable oils would also need to “increase significantly”.
The researchers estimated that the changes would result in around 10 per cent lower consumption of food items high on emissions.