The other climate change subsidy: cattle

More on the vegan theme – this time from Make Wealth History…. If current growth trends in meat and dairy continue, then agriculture will take up the entire global greenhouse gas budget by 2050.

The Earthbound Report

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the G7 and its general failure to curb fossil fuel subsidies. I’ve also written a lot about the impact of meat eating, and the climate emissions of beef. But it occurred to me that I’ve never put the two together and looked at the impact of lifestock subsidies on climate change.

Lots of countries use agricultural subsidies of one kind or another, perhaps making fertiliser or equipment cheaper, or reducing the costs of water and irrigation. The EU, the United States, and a number of others subsidise livestock and feed. Taken together, OECD subsidies for animal products add up to tens of billions of dollars of taxpayer support, as this graphic from the Meat Atlas shows:

These subsidies might be payments to farmers per head of cattle, or support for building new facilities or animal housing. There are export incentives…

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