Former Bishop Stephen Lowe and ex-UKIP MEP Roger Helmer locked horns over possible plans from the government to whack meat taxes on products to tackle climate change, a move backed by Environment Secretary George Eustice. The move follows demands from academics at Cambridge University who say meat prices must rise and alternative low-carbon plant-based options fall in order to achieve net-zero by 2050.
Campaigners argue that plant-based items should also be displayed next to meat to encourage Britons to opt for low-carbon choices.
Following the news Bishop Lowe slammed: “I think people recognised the price of meat may have to go up because of climate change.
“We can’t go on affording meat at the present low prices with the environmental cost of production!”
But Mr Helmer hit back insisting that the price rises of meat come at the wrong time for Britons.
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He said: “But the price of everything is going up! The price of energy is going up..
“We are having costs imposed on homes because of the attempts to put in heat pumps!”
Despite the pleas, Bishop Lowe hammered back arguing the issue is far greater than Mr Helmer suggests.
In a passionate call for action, he slammed: “I want a planet which my grandchildren can live on!
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But Minette Batters, president of the National Farmers’ Union, told LBC’s Andrew Castle: “If we start to tax farmers here and we don’t expect the same of other countries that we are importing a lot more food from – we’ve just signed a deal obviously with New Zealand and with Australia – and we’re planning to completely liberalise.
“So if you’re going to tax farmers here, not tax farmers in other countries, that’s just going to put our farmers out of business.”
Academics at Cambridge University outlined findings about the importance of meat price rises in a study entitled Changing Behaviour for Net Zero 2050 where they called on the government to “increase prices of carbon-intense foods, including processed and red meat, dairy products and ultra-processed foods”.
Diet as well as travel are the two areas in which behaviour needs to change in a “rapid and radical” way, according to the paper. It comes as scientists have warned that technological solutions will not be enough to halt and reverse the damage caused by climate change.
The Fort News