On 5 February, the European Parliament will be presented with a plan, developed by the TAPP Coalition and supported by ProVeg International, to increase the price of meat across the EU to reflect its environmental costs, including CO2 emissions and biodiversity loss. 1
A sustainability charge
The fair-meat pricing proposal, also known as a ‘sustainability charge’, is set out in a new report that calls for a new pricing model to be included in the European Green Deal and Farm to Fork Strategy. It would apply to member states from 2022.
The main impact of a sustainability charge would be net EU welfare impacts (benefits) of €8.8 billion per year by 2030 (€7.9 billion climate-related). The 28 EU Member States would receive revenues from excise taxes on meat, based on True Price Accounting (external costs) of €32.2 billion per year.
“The time has come for us to act on the environmental consequences of animal protein, the price of which has been kept artificially low for far too long. Here we have a fair solution.”
Help farmers invest in agriculture
A key aspect of the proposal is that revenues from the sustainability charge could be used primarily to help farmers to invest in more sustainable agricultural practices. It could also be used to lower VAT and consumer subsidies on vegetables and fruits, provide financial support for low-income households, and support developing countries to adapt to climate change and protect forests and biodiversity.
The scale of potential environmental savings is outlined in the report. Fair meat prices in Europe could lead to a reduction in CO2-eq. emissions of up to 120 million tons of CO2 per year. This equals all CO2 emissions from four EU Member States: Ireland, Denmark, Slovakia, and Estonia, and nearly 3% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions.