« OECD countries and China urged to reduce meat at COP28»

Published on 01-12-2023

Launch of Letter from Non-OECD countries urging OECD countries & China to reduce meat consumption

Start CO2-taxes food / meat, also for co-financing Loss & Damage Fund, say Climate ministers Nigeria, Uganda, Congo

COP28 UAE Agriculture Declaration criticized for ignoring options to reduce meat/dairy consumption.

At the first day of the COP28 Climate Conference in Dubai, when the COP28 Presidency presented its COP28 UAE Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food systems and Climate Action, signed by 134 countries, a Resolution - a Letter to Climate Ministers of OECD countries and China - is launched that can be signed by non-OECD countries to urge rich OECD countries and China to reduce their high meat overconsumption levels. Options are for instance CO2-pricing of food, Agri-ETS systems or meat-taxes. The first African countries that signed are the Environmental Minsters of Nigeria, Uganda and the Secretary General of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Congo. Other countries now can sign the Resolution too. More info can be found here.

The letter will be sent 10th Dec. Signatories so far are:

1) ABBAS LAWAL, Balarabe, Minister of Environment Nigeria

2) CHEPTORIS, Sam Minister of Water and Environment Uganda

3) TOIRAMBE BAMONINGA, Benjamin, Secretary General for the Environment and Development Ministery, République Démocratique du Congo

ministernigeria.jpg ministernigerianaam.jpg we sign for carbon pricing food.jpg

The initiative comes from an UN Climate conference observer organisation TAPP Coalition. It’s director gave a speech with a presentation at the UNFCCC facilitated and recorded press conference 1st December in the Blue Zone at the COP28 Conference. Director Remmers: 'I am glad with the COP28 UAE Declaration, because countries plegded "shifting from higher greenhouse gas-emitting practices to more sustainable production and consumption approaches" and signatories will review their collective progress next year at COP29 with a view to considering next steps in 2025 and beyond".

But the Declaration doesn't mention that meat and dairy cause almost 20 percent of all global GHG emissions and its consumption should be reduced in high income countries and China, who consume 60% of global meat production'. Reducing meat consumption is one of the cheapest mitigation options. Without meat reduction policies, globaal climate policies will become two times more expensive towards 2050, was found in a scientific study

Only 20 out of 54 African countries signed the COP28 UAE Declaration (Kenya, Algeria and South Africa missing for instance), while other low income G77 countries like India and many Small Island development states (SIDS) also did not sign the Declaration. This might be a signal these countries also were not satisfied with the COP28 Declaration, not focused enough on rich countries and China to reduce their GHG emissions from meat and dairy consumption and production. Before the COP28 meeting TAPP coalition sent the Resolution to all Climate ministers of G77 and SIDS countries. It seems they recognise that eating meat and dairy in huge amounts, like rich countries and China do, causes loss and damage, especially in low income countries and SIDS, like sealevel rise, floods, extreme heat and loss of harvests.

Meat tax 1 euro/kg in OECD countries and China generates 147 billion dollar for Loss & Damage Fund

loss and damage fund.png

If China and OECD countries would tax meat with 1 dollar /euro per kg, it would generate 147 billion euro for the Loss & Damage fund.

Lack of attention for Meat

We are here at the Climate Conference of the United Nations to talk about how we can save our planet from increasing climate change in the next decades. Recent IPCC reports have shown that countries do not adhere to their Nationally Determined Contributions, and that we are not even close to reaching the climate goals set out in the Paris Agreement in 2015. We all know that meat consumption is disastrous for the climate, and decreasing it should be one of our main goals. However, the problem of meat consumption is not a priority for international climate policies and measures to reduce meat consumption are also heavily underrepresented in the Nationally Determined Contributions.[i] This is a surprising fact, especially considering that the previous COP27 president, and the last IPCC report both recognised the issue of meat consumption reduction and urged the world to implement measures.[ii] [iii]

COP28 UAE Declaration on Agriculture and Climate lacks meat consumption reduction

Food and agriculture action now finally are a COP28 Presidency Flagship priority for the United Arab Emirates COP28 presidency. But unfortunately, they too avoid the elephant in the room: meat consumption and production. The COP28 Presidency launched the COP28 UAE Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action does not mention the word ‘meat’ or fiscal incentives to reduce GHG emissions from meat consumption or production, so we miss great opportunities for climate action in agriculture and food, if this is again ignored. Remmers: "Ignoring meat in climate policies, is similar to ignoring coal production in the energy sector and forget this harmful energy product should be reduced or phased out because of its severe climate impact'. 

Resolution to stop excluding meat from the climate debate

TAPP Coalition called on all Small Island Development States and all members of G77, to demand meat consumption reduction measures in the countries that consume most meat. A letter to climate ministers from rich OECD countries and China will be sent to urge them to start policies to reduce meat consumption, including fiscal incentives or emission trading schemes for agri/food. Two years ago TAPP Coalition initiated an open letter to the Presidents of the 50 countries that eat most meat, asking for carbon pricing meat and dairy. This letter was co-signed by 5000 companies and NGO’s from over 100 countries, and can be read at the website https://futurefoodprice.org

Jeroom Remmers, director TAPP Coalition said the COP28 can only be successful if It:

1.     Includes meat consumption reduction policies in the center of programs for reducing emissions before 2030 (e.g. Methane Pledge), mitigation, climate finance, Loss and Damage, retail and meat industry pledges, especially in OECD countries and China

2.     Includes meat consumption reduction policies in the climate-health ministerial at COP28, since reducing the (over)consumption of meat in OECD countries and China has public health co-benefits.

3.     Includes global and national meat consumption reduction commitments for OECD and China, and the need for carbon pricing mechanisms for meat production or consumption in the COP28 Head of State and government-level declaration for Food Systems, Agriculture, and Climate Action.

4.     Asks the OECD, the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, G20, China and the EU Commission to lead the way towards harmonized carbon pricing in food-systems starting with meat and a High Level Committee on Carbon Pricing Agri-Food Systems.

Furthermore, to ensure that members of the G77 and Small Island States can adapt to climate change, the Loss and Damage Fund was created. We propose that the revenue that a global carbon pricing of food-systems should at least partially be used to fund 15-20% of climate finance for the Loss and Damage Fund.


Not for publication

Letter to OECD countries and China: English version  10th December 2023 and French Version (10th December)

More information: https://tappcoalition.eu or info@tappcoalitie.nl

Jeroom Remmers, director TAPP Coalition 0031 6 2240771

Newsupdate about this issue: https://www.tappcoalition.eu/nieuws/21297/african-countries-urge-rich-countries-to-tax-meat-at-cop28

Relevant news article: https://www.greenqueen.com.hk/cop28-fao-food-roadmap-rich-meat-climate-change/

2 December TAPP Coalition also organized a side event with the Global Head of Sustainability of Unilever Thomas Lingard about the need for carbon pricing in agri-foood systems. We will speak about the recent report presented 13th November by the EU Commission about a new ETS system for agri-food systems, to apply the polluter pays principle in agriculture.

2 December another press conference is given about CO2 labeling of food at COP28 and CO2 pricing of food examples in Europe. 

More information about press conferences and side events organised by TAPP Coalition at COP28 see here

International news about Tapp Coalition activities at COP28 can be read below (a selection only): 






Other relevant news articles about COP28 and meat consumption:




Eat less meat is message in food's first net-zero plan, POLITICO Pro https://subscriber.politicopro.com › article › 2023/11/27

[i] Framework Convention on Climate Change, “Summary report following the third meeting of the technical dialogue of the first global stocktake under the Paris Agreement”, 15 August 2023,
[ii] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change,” United Nations, 2022, https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg3/ , p 153-157.
[iii] COP27, “Round table on “Food Security””, The Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Implementation Summit, 7 november 2022, https://cop27.eg/assets/files/days/COP27%20FOOD%20SECURITY-DOC-01-EGY-10-22-EN.pdf , p 2.