This Wikipedia section argues about the greenhouse gas emissions related to meat production (~ 14 - 15% of of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions).

Clearly reducing greenhouse gas emissions should also take into account this cause since it is not negligible and I thought about artificial meat or some kind of meat replacement.

The private sector seems to somewhat move in this direction, but I am wondering if there is any policy to encourage meat replacement at a government level. This would probably involve shifting subsidies for classic meat production to investments in technologies to produce artificial meat.

I could only in find this article about Denmark considering red meat taxation in an effort to reduce the climate impact.

Question: Is there a government that considers investing / subsidizing artificial meat in order to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions related to meat production?

  • 2
    Seems to me much of the meat industry subsidy is just another facet of general farming subsidies, with farming traditionally being one of the most subsidized industries across many, many, democratic governments. On the other hand, if most of the value/cost chain in artificial meat is in a laboratory/factory setting, you may find voters quite a lot more reluctant to engage in subsidies than wrt to cuddly farmers and ranchers. Commented Apr 18, 2020 at 17:56
  • 1
    Shouldn't you first consider whether there is evidence that artifical meat would actually reduce GHG emissions? And then separate meat in general from say industrial feedlots?
    – jamesqf
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 17:48

1 Answer 1


This editorial by a historian of food writing points out that the US government did promote consumption of meat substitutes during the two World Wars, and that Winston Churchill mused about the potential advantages of something like lab-grown meat. However the main thrust of this article is that the agribusiness lobby in the US is currently pushing hard in the opposite direction.

There is academic literature advocating for the reduction of meat consumption as a public policy goal, and some of this focuses on climate change among the reasons. But examples of existing policies along these lines are noticeably absent. As one such article states:

Given the enormous environmental impact of animal-protein consumption and the apparent sympathy of consumers for meat reduction, it is surprising that politicians and policy makers demonstrate little, if any, interest in strategies to reduce meat consumption and to encourage more sustainable eating practices.

It may also be relevant to note that not all advocates of reducing meat consumption think promoting substitutes would be the best policy approach. For example, here is an article that argues that a general carbon tax might be a more politically feasible approach to achieve same goal. Explicitly anti-meat policies might provoke a more intense political backlash than a general carbon tax does, but is nonetheless likely to have the result of reducing meat consumption and incentivizing consumption of other foods.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .