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Article
Accounting for Taste: Trade Law Implications of Taxing Meat to Fight Climate Change
Georgetown International Environmental Law Review (2015)
  • Marya Torrez, American University Washington College of Law
Abstract

Global climate change threatens to have disastrous consequences for life as we know it. Animal agriculture makes a tremendous contribution to climate change. While largely ignored in the policy arena, in recent years, scientists have suggested a tax on meat to begin to address this issue. This article looks seriously at this proposal and addresses some of the potential international trade law implications. Assessing such a tax on imports would be vital in order for the tax to have any impact. Moreover, rebating the tax on exports would likely be necessary in order for the tax to gain political support. However, these measures raise the possibility of a WTO challenge. While it is likely that such a tax could be defended under WTO law, including under the exceptions for measures designed for environmental protection, it would have to be designed carefully. Finally, it is important to consider the ramifications of such a proposal, particularly the impact on developing nations, and alternative solutions that might begin to address the climate change impact of animal agriculture.

Publication Date
Winter 2015
Citation Information
Marya Torrez. "Accounting for Taste: Trade Law Implications of Taxing Meat to Fight Climate Change" Georgetown International Environmental Law Review Vol. 27 Iss. 1 (2015)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/marya_torrez/5/