This is shown by the researchers Kristina Mohlin, Stefan Wirsenius and Fredrik Hedenus, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, in an article published in the scientific journal Climatic Change.
Kristina Mohlin is a PhD student at the Department of Economics at the University of Gothenburg. She wrote the article together with her research colleagues at Chalmers University of Technology in connection with her degree project at the Department of Energy and Environment.
In the article, the researchers show that reduced meat, milk and egg consumption has two effects: a direct one which means significantly lower emissions of methane and nitrous oxide and an indirect one through land being made available which can be used for bioenergy cultivation.
Food production is a source that cannot be disregarded when considering greenhouse gas emissions – globally it accounts for 20-25 per cent of emissions. However, emissions from food are difficult to tax as the principal emission sources are methane from the stomachs of cows and nitrous oxide from land to which fertiliser has been applied – both these emission sources are technically complicated and very costly to measure. There is also a lack of effective technical solutions to reduce these emissions. On the other hand, changed food habits can have a great impact. If beef is replaced by chicken, emissions decrease by 90 per cent, and if beef is replaced by beans the reduction is 99 per cent.
“A tax on the emissions from food production would normally be preferable. But as this is virtually impossible in practice, and the effects of switching away from meat and milk are so great, we show that it can be far more effective to apply the tax directly to the meat and milk consumption," says Stefan Wirsenius, a researcher in the Department of Energy and Environment at Chalmers.
Beef, which is responsible for the highest emissions per kg of meat, would be taxed higher under the proposal, while chicken and pork would be taxed lower as their emissions are lower.
”Today we have taxes on petrol and a trading scheme for industrial plants and power generation, but no policy instruments at all for food-related greenhouse gas emissions. This means that we do not pay for the climate costs of our food," says Fredrik Hedenus, another researcher in the Department of Energy and Environment at Chalmers.
A climate tax on meat and milk would probably also mean that land becomes available for the growing of bioenergy crops.
“If the world decides on substantial reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions, land will become a scarce resource, as a lot of land may be needed for bioenergy. Land-efficient food production and consumption will therefore become increasingly important. And beef production requires twenty times more land per kcal than beans," says Hedenus.
A tax equivalent to 60€/ton CO2 (far less than half the current petrol taxes in many European countries) would according to the calculations reduce beef consumption by about 15 per cent.
“This tax is not at all a matter of forcing people to become vegetarians but merely moving towards a slightly more climate-smart diet," says Wirsenius.For further information:
Helena Aaberg | idw
Six-legged livestock -- sustainable food production
11.05.2017 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen
Elephant Herpes: Super-Shedders Endanger Young Animals
04.05.2017 | Universität Zürich
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
29.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences