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Thematic Issue: Law and Economics/General

Climate and Carnism: Regulatory Pathways towards a Sustainable Food System


Victoria Chen and Cary Di Lernia

The pervasive societal preference for meat products is accelerating climate change and compromising planetary health. Despite the established links between dominant food systems and climate change, policy research focused on regulatory options for the reduction of emissions from meat production and consumption remains absent in Australia. This article explores regulatory pathways towards the reduction of carbon emissions from this source. Employing a supply-demand regulatory analysis, options across the regulatory spectrum are assessed, ranging from ‘softer’ instruments (such as industry self-regulation or informational regulation) through to more coercive measures (such as an emissions tax or a direct tax on meat products). This article argues for the prioritisation of demand-side regulatory strategies, yet also considers the potential efficacy of supply-side regulatory methods of emissions mitigation, in light of Australia’s commitments to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions pursuant to the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

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(2022) 45(3) UNSWLJ 914: