CapX, June 9, Catherine McBride
George Eustice is threatening to slap a carbon tax on foreign meat. Apparently this new weapon in his protectionist arsenal is aimed at Australia. It would appear that Eustice, together with the National Farmers Union (NFU), will stop at nothing to keep the UK dependant on meat imported from the EU.
The only trouble with this plan is that Australian beef producers are not the big polluters that Eustice seems to believe them to be. Australia’s graziers are taking their carbon emissions seriously. So seriously that several of them are now net carbon sequesters and are selling their carbon credits on the international carbon markets.
Eustice’s about-face on environmental issues was unexpected and reeks of convenient protectionism. It was only in early May that a leaked memo revealed that Eustice’s department, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) had not developed a plan to reduce its own greenhouse emissions to meet the targets set by the Government’s Climate Change Act even though his department is responsible for both the Environment and Farming, estimated to be responsible for a tenth of total UK emissions.
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