MEAT should be taxed in the future because otherwise it will destroy the natural world, according to claims in a new report.
The analysis by investors says the surcharges, known as “sin taxes”, will be “inevitable” to help beat global climate and health crises.
It says the global livestock industry currently causes 15 per cent of all global greenhouse gas emissions.
And there is the twin problem that many people around the world eat too much meat and suffer costly health problems as a result.
So with consumption growing in most countries due to falling costs the report by the Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return Initiative says globally political leaders will find it impossible not to act.
A levy on meat has already been discussed in several European parliaments, and China cut its recommended maximum meat consumption by 45 per cent last year.
The group, who manage more than $4trillion of assets, say meat will become seen like tobacco and sugar, other products which have had taxes raised on them for the consumer.
Jeremy Coller, the founder of Fairr, said: “If policymakers are to cover the true cost of human epidemics like obesity, diabetes and cancer, and livestock epidemics like avian flu, while also tackling the twin challenges of climate change and antibiotic resistance, then a shift from subsidisation to taxation of the meat industry looks inevitable.
“Far-sighted investors should plan ahead for this day.”
An analysis on meat taxes last night found a 40 per cent levy on beef, 20 per cent on dairy products and 8.5 per cent on chicken would save half a million lives a year and slash climate warming emissions.