Environment Secretary George Eustice says the UK government is considering implementing a carbon tax on imported meat.
Early this year, a senior No. 10 official rejected calls for a UK meat tax – saying it is ‘categorically not going to happen’.
Carbon tax on imported meat
However, as negotiations to create an international trade deal with Australia looms, the levy could apply to food being imported.
Eustice such an incentive could help financially protect British farmers having to compete with cheap meat imports.
According to reports, the politician told BBC 4 Radio that many countries are considering assessing the ‘consumption’ of CO2 emissions rather than just how much it produces.
He said: “So, you measure the carbon of the food and other goods that you import… Not just what your emissions are.
“Then, some kind of carbon border adjustment tax, to recognize those countries that are falling behind on environmental standards, is the sort of thing which becomes possible.”
Australian trade deal
The Australian trade deal has already sparked concerns surrounding food standards and animal welfare.
Last month, the UK ‘failed’ to confirm whether it will keep its ban on hormone-injected beef if the deal is secured.
Under EU law, the use of growth hormones in beef production has been prohibited since 1989. However, the practice is still legal in Australia.
Reports say a spokesperson for Prime Minister Boris Johnson declined to provide a direct comment on hormone-injected beef four times.
According to The Independent, he said food imported into the country will have to adhere to requirements – but didn’t state specifically what they would be.