In the open letter, the coalition calls on world leaders to:
- publicly announce carbon pricing of meat and dairy or starting feasibility studies. In this way, a healthy and sustainable food system can be realised, delivering nutritious food for all within Paris Climate targets, planetary boundaries and dietary guidelines.
- use revenues of higher meat/dairy prices (taxes) to compensate low-income groups: e.g. by reducing taxes for low carbon food (vegetables, fruits, vegan meals) and by compensating farmers: subsidies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, other emissions, or livestock.
The letter will be presented to world leaders during the UN Climate Change Summit in Glasgow (COP26) in November. The Carbon Pricing for Food Coalition is concerned about climate change and the lack of political decisiveness for taxing food with a high climate footprint and making climate-friendly food cheaper. The letter is a call for change, for a better future.
Change is needed
Triodos Bank believes it is necessary to completely change the way food is produced, traded and consumed in order to provide food to the growing world population without severely damaging our planet, people’s health and social equality. In its vision document Towards ecologically and socially resilient food and agriculture systems we write that the current agriculture system exceeds planetary boundaries. It depletes soils, contributes to climate change through relatively high greenhouse gas emissions, causes a decrease in biodiversity, contributes to malnutrition and supports inequality due to power concentration.
In our vision document, we state that true pricing is a necessary element of the transition. The current price of food isn’t realistic for the long term as it does not take account of damage to ecosystems, diet-related diseases and unfair wages.
Food prices must reflect the value we place on fertile land and biodiversity, landscapes, culture and fair-trade practices. For example, products that cause major damage to ecosystems should be more expensive than sustainable products. This will also encourage consumers to choose more sustainable and locally produced food.