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Tax Red Meat And Help Save The Wildlife And Planet, Suggests UN

Tax Red Meat And Help Save The Wildlife And Planet, Suggests UN

The UN reports suggests that red meat should be taxed in order to reduce demand and in turn, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save the wildlife.

Global warming is a major concern today and government agencies, several organizations, as well as conservationists, have been fighting to save the planet. Just cleaning places up and trying to stop deforestation isn't going to help. People have started using more solar-powered devices and electric vehicles which help in a lot of ways. However, there needs to be a change in people's diet across the world. Recent reports from the United Nations suggest that people need to cut down on the consumption of red meat. Researchers believe that taxing red meat will help in doing so. This could help in reducing the number of greenhouse gases being released in the atmosphere. Taxing meat could help encourage people to shift to a more plant-based diet. According to researchers, this shift will also help combat wildlife habitat loss in a way. The report suggests that the rise in infrastructure is directly related to the 'red meat' trend. 

The Global Resources Outlook 2019, examines the trends in natural resources and their corresponding consumption patterns since the 1970s. Researchers are encouraging the use of lab-grown meats. This would help in reducing the impact on cattle and livestock, that makeup of 77 percent of agricultural land use across the world. There has been a rapid consumption of resources in the world. The rate of consumption of vital resources has tripled since 1970. At the rate the world is going at, some of the vital resources will be exhausted within the next few decades.

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As per reports from 2017, each person belonging to the wealthiest countries on the planet uses 9.8 tons of materials like oil gas, food, etc. every year. One of the reasons behind the rapid consumption of vital resources is the growth in infrastructure and the higher material standard of living in developing countries, especially in Asia, is a major part of the problem. From 1970 till now, the population of the world has doubled. Global domestic product (GDP) - a measure of a country's economic production -  has vastly increased,  only making things worse for our environment. 

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Experts are of the opinion that the world's economy needs a drastic change in order for greenhouse gas emissions to be curbed and to actually fight global warming. The report, which uses data from historical trends, projects from 2015 to 2060, shows that resources will grow by 110 percent. This also means that forests will reduce by nearly 10 percent, whereas there will be a 20 percent reduction of grasslands and other habitats. The annual global extraction of materials, which is already at 92 billion tonnes, is said to double by the year 2060. This is predicted to cause a 43 percent increase in greenhouse gas emissions. 

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Researchers have suggested that this level of global resource extraction is one of the key factors in climate change and loss of biodiversity. Unless there is a systematic reform of resource consumption, things are only going to get worse. "The Global Resources Outlook shows that we are plowing through this planet's finite resources as if there is no tomorrow, causing climate change and biodiversity loss along the way," said Joyce Msyua, Acting Executive Director of UN Environment. "Frankly, there will be no tomorrow for many people unless we stop."

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The report says: The extraction and processing of materials, fuels, and food make up about half of total global greenhouse gas emissions and more than 90 per cent of biodiversity loss and water stress. Since 2002, the growth in extraction has increased at a rate of 3.2 percent per year. This is driven largely by investments in infrastructure. Fossil fuel usage went from 6 billion tonnes in 1970 to 15 billion tons in 2017. The report suggests that essential and efficient use of resources is crucial to saving the environment, however, this alone will not be enough.



 

What is needed is a move from linear to circular flows through a combination of extended product life cycles, intelligent product design and standardization and reuse, recycling and re-manufacturing, the report says. Coming back to taxing food products, the report does not just look at the greenhouse gas emission produced because of red meats. It also takes into account the effects red meat has on the consumers' health. If the products were to be axed as per the harm they cause our bodies, the rate of processed bacon and sausages should be doubled.



 

People consume more than the required amount of red meat, especially in richer countries. This has a direct impact on an individual's heart. Higher prices and more taxes will automatically lead to lesser consumption of red meat which not only benefits the environment but also people's health. The proposed taxes would result in a 16% reduction in the processed meat eaten around the world, the scientists estimated, which would cut the greenhouse gas emissions from livestock by 110m tonnes per year. This also means that there will be fewer people facing problems such as obesity and other health complications that are directly connected to one's diet. 

Source: Pexels

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