carbon pricing food

To: 50 Presidents and their Ministers of Finance, Climate, Agriculture of

50 UN Member States with highest meat consumption per capita


HE President Xi Jinping                                          HE President Joe Biden

The State Council General Office                          The White House

2 Fuyoujie, Xichengqu                                            1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Beijingshi 100017                                                     Washington, DC 20500

People's Republic of China                                    United States of America  


HE President Jair Bolsonaro                                   HE President Vladimir Putin
Presidente da República Federativa do Brasil     Presidential Directora for Correspondence
Gabinete do Presidente , Palácio do Planalto      From Citizens and Organisations

Praça dos Três Poderes                                          23, Ulitsa Ilyinka, 103132, Moscow, Russia70150-900 Brasilia DF, Brazil                           


HE President Andrés Manuel López Obrador     HE President Angela Merkel

Puerta 8 Palacio Nacional,                                     Bundeskanzleramt, Bundeskanzlerin

Plaza de la Constitución S/N, Colonia Centro,    Willy-Brandt-Straße 1

Ciudad de México, C.P. 06066, Mexico                 10557 Berlin, Germany         


HE President Emmanuel Macron                           Rt. Hon Boris Johnson MP

Palais de l’Élysée                                                      House of Commons, Westminster, SW1A 0AA
55 rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré                         London, UK
75008 Paris, France                                                     or:



HE Prime Minister Mario Draghi                             HE President Pedro SÁNCHEZ PÉREZ-CASTEJÓN

Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri                    Complejo de la Moncloa

Via dell/Impresa 89                                                Avda. Puerta de Hierro, s/n. 28071

00186 Roma, Italia                                                   Madrid, Spain                          


Similar letters will be sent to Presidents of 38 countries (OECD and countries with high meat consumption):

Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Argentina, Mongolia, Belarus, Serbia, Taiwan, Croatia, Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Romania, United Arab Emirates.

cc: Ministers of Finance, Climate, Agriculture and Vice President EU Commission F. Timmermans, OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann, Rt. Hon. Alok Sharma MP, president for COP26, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Director FAO, Director UNEP, Director WHO, Director World Bank.


                                                                                                                                                          22 September 2021 / 29 October 2021

Object: Open letter to 50 UN Member States on Carbon Pricing Food, starting with meat & dairy


Mr / Mrs President  NAME,

We are the Carbon Pricing for Food Coalition, a group of (number) companies, non-profit organisations and UN nations, working across geographies (number of countries). We are writing to you about your ambitious support to the Paris Climate Agreement and how you can improve your national determined contributions, by applying carbon pricing on food. We suggest to start with meat and dairy and reduce taxes on healthy food. Lower levels of animal protein consumption will not only improve national public health, thus reduce health costs, but will simultaneously reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and loss of biodiversity. If global meat and dairy consumption were to expand to higher levels per capita (business as usual) it will become impossible to keep global temperatures from rising to dangerous levels. Meat and dairy production accounts for at least 14.5% of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and is projected to account for up to 81% of the 1.5°C emissions budget by 2050 if consumption continues unabated.

We call on 50 Member States (35 OECD and 15 other countries) engaged in the UN Food Systems Summit, CBD Biodiversity Conference and Climate Change Conference (COP26) in 2021, to

1)     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. 

2)     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.

In your country, meat consumption levels are above (inter)national dietary health guidelines and exceeding the guidelines for food consumption that takes into account planetary boundaries: the EAT Lancet Commission advised a maximum consumption of 300 gram per week, summing up to 16 kg meat/capita/year[1]. Meat consumption per capita in your country is … kg per year. Countries with a meat consumption level above health guidelines should take the lead in reducing meat consumption. Reducing consumption of meat and dairy per capita in the 50 developed countries that have the highest meat consumption levels per capita, has become imperative for human and planetary health. We have already informed your Ministers of Climate, Agriculture and Finance. Please accept our proposal to consider or announce carbon pricing of meat/dairy, and reduce prices for healthy food. We propose to make your announcement before the UN Summit for Food, Biodiversity or Climate.

Thank you very much for your reply to us, Mr/Mrs. President,

With kind regards, on behalf of signatories (see attachment 2 with names and logo’s organisations),


Prof. Pier Vellinga                                             ir. Jeroom Remmers

Chair True Animal Protein Price Coalition    Director True Animal Protein Price Coalition


Attachment 1: Benefits of carbon pricing food

Attachment 2: List of signatories: see

Attachment 3: List of 50 countries with highest meat consumption per capita


Attachment 1: Benefits of carbon pricing food

Health and environmental benefits

Overconsumption of meat is leading to increased risks for non-communicable diseases like stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer and higher risks for obesity. To reduce such risks and reduce healthcare costs related to unhealthy diets, WHO and World Bank advised all nations to tax unhealthy food products like sugar and processed meat[2]. So taxing meat or dairy will also help to reduce overconsumption. Meat and dairy consumption cause nearly 60% of global biodiversity loss; it is the leading cause of tropical deforestation (reports WWF UK[3], Chatham House[4]). Policies to reduce meat and dairy consumption (like fiscal policies) are also needed for nature protection and climate goals. FAO advises financial incentives and other policies to reduce GHG-emissions in the livestock sector[5]. The business as usual in the way we consume food produced of animals is incompatible with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement and other critical international targets.  Countries with a meat consumption higher than (inter)national health guidelines should take the lead in reducing meat consumption. This is not only the call to action in recent IPCC reports[6] and the Eat/Lancet Commission report, but also UNEPs and the EU Commission’s call for shift to plant-based diets.


Like fossil fuels, tobacco, sugar and alcohol, future taxes on meat are recommended for your country. Similar to the mentioned products that harm our health or ecosystems, we encourage your country to apply a (carbon) price on meat and dairy, preferably at the consumer level (e.g. 2-4 euro per kg of meat, related to costs of emissions or VAT tax increase). In this way, future health costs or environmental costs ca be reduced. Recommended, ideally combined, additional policies are: reducing taxes on vegetables, fruits and vegan meals(or introduce subsidies on healthy food/lunches), paying farmers for reducing GHG-emissions, compensating low income groups and supporting low income countries to adapt to climate change and protect forests. Costs for these additional policies would be covered by the revenues collected with the carbon food tax. A consumer tax for a true meat price means that consumers will pay for external costs of meat consumption, like costs for greenhouse gas emissions, pollution or public health. This tax can be collected at the supermarket, catering industry and butcher's shop or at the slaughterhouse and from a meat importer.  Implementation is legally and technically possible, according to German and Dutch government studies. Furthermore, including the meat/dairy sector into carbon emission trading schemes can also be considered.

Advantages for your country

  • Health care costs will go down when consumers eat more healthy food and eat less meat conforming to the dietary guidelines. In Europe alone, health care budgets will go down by 9 billion euro per year if taxes on red and processed meat will be introduced [7]. In an Oxford University report you can learn how much your country can save in health care costs and how many lives and patients can be saved [8].
  • A majority population (55-70%) of West-European countries support consumer taxes on meat, if in return tax revenues are used to make healthy food cheaper and compensate farmers [9]. How is this in your country?
  • Taxes on meat are effective and cheap policy options to solve climate and health challenges [8, 10].

The solution works

Different countries already decided to introduce or increase taxes on meat (and dairy) or are very close to do so.

Spain, Germany and New Zealand already decided to introduce or increase taxes on meat (and dairy).

●      New Zealand will include animal farms into the ETS system for CO2-emission reduction by 2025.

●      Spain increased VAT tariffs on meat in 2012 to 10%, reduced tariffs on vegetables & fruits to 4%.

●      Germany will probably tax meat and dairy (VAT tax increase or a consumer tax per kg) after 2021; the two largest political groups (Union & Greens) included the Borchert Commission animal welfare tax proposal in their election programs).

●      The Dutch Government considers a consumer tax on meat for environmental costs per kg (2-4,7 euro/kg meat).

●      EU Commission will include environmental costs into food prices and taxes (Farm2Fork Strategy); the EU Commission promised to present a study to implement the polluter pays principle in agriculture for GHG-emissions.

●      A tax on meat in 28 EU countries is estimated to reduce GHG-emissions in Europe by 3% (120 Mton CO2 eq/year): ‘Sustainability charge on meat’ report, presented at the EU Parliament 5th Feb 2020 [10]. Carbon taxes on food are effective [11].



[1] P. 10


[3] and:




[7] Page 18:



[10] reports: and and

 [11} Oxford University report on carbon pricing of food, 2016:

Attachment 2: List of Signatories



UN Member States


Does your organisation (company, NGO, CSO, UN member state, university, city) want to sign too?

Please sent your logo and a confirmation from an authorized person to:


The Carbon Pricing of Food Coalition is hosted / founded by the

True Animal Protein Price Coalition

Minahassastraat 1

1094 RS Amsterdam

The Netherlands /

Not all TAPP Coalition partners signed the Open Letter; those who did can be found here:


Attachment 3: list of 50 (developed) countries with highest meat consumption per capita

who eat the most meat? 50 countries.png

50 countries.png

*Hong Kong is not a country but a special administrative region within the People’s Republic of Chinashare meat dairy GHG.jpeg