Meat should be taxed to reduce consumption, promote more vegetarian diets and ensure the world avoids “dangerous” climate change, a report warns, [if a global low carbon energy transition is to be successful].

The recommendation is included in a report by thinktank Chatham House (pdf), which says global meat consumption is a “major driver” of climate change.

But a carbon tax could make meat more expensive and reduce meat on offer in schools and hospitals and the armed forces to promote healthier diets, the report suggests.

The livestock sector accounts for 15% of global emissions, equivalent to exhaust emissions from all vehicles in the world, the report states.

The study, Changing Climate, Changing Diets – Pathways to Lower Meat Consumption, warns that unless demand for meat falls, livestock emissions could trigger dangerous climate change.

Responding to the report, UK farming organisations said livestock farmers were working hard to reduce emissions and it ignored the essential role farmers and land managers play in managing the countryside.

Global meat consumption has already reached “unhealthy levels” and is on the increase – and is set to rise by 76% by 2050.

In industrialized countries, the average person is eating twice as much meat as is deemed healthy by experts, according to the study. Via Tax meat to help save the planet, urges report