An earlier government report recommending that people shift their dietary habits towards plant-based food has been quickly deleted.

The paper discusses how to change public behavior in order to reach climate goals.

Soon after its publication, the Department for Business removed it.

Beis claimed that this paper was research-based and not policy.

We don’t intend to set consumer behavior in such a way. “That is why our Net Zero Strategy, which was published yesterday, did not contain such plans,” the statement said.

This document was written by the Behavioural Insights Unit (also known as Nudge Unit), which is best known for its involvement in the creation of the Sugar Levy.

The note was quickly deleted. It has now been replaced by a note stating that it had been published incorrectly, and the BBC has a copy.

The researchers suggest following the advice of sugar levy and imposing a tax on retailers or producers of “high-carbon food” in chapter “Applications to Net Zero Policy”, which is located under “Diet Changes” to promote “reformulation, diversification”, and encourage more local foods.

It recommends “building support to a bold policy”, like a “producer facing carbon tax on Ruminant Products”; however, it states that a “unsophisticated me tax would be highly restrictive”.

Research paper also suggests that the government could normalise plant-based foods by spending on hospitals, schools and prisons as well as military courts. The research paper also suggests that the government should intervene quickly to help first-time renters and students at university.

The document acknowledges, however, that asking people directly to eat less meat or dairy is a significant political challenge. However, positive framing, and smaller requests may be possible (eg, learn one recipe).

The paper discusses aviation and suggests that there be “much higher carbon taxes” as well as trying to “shift social norms to make international business meetings that require travel to attend a sign either of moral indulgence or embarrassment.

It also suggests that domestic tourism be encouraged to reduce demand for international flight.


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