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07 Feb 2024, 13:52
Sören Amelang

Germans want to eat in a more climate-friendly way, but don’t know how – survey

Clean Energy Wire

Three quarters of Germans are in favour of a binding climate label for food, according to a survey by health insurance provider AOK. Seventy-six percent agreed with the statement that politicians should advocate mandatory and comprehensible climate labels on foodstuffs. "If we want people to eat not only healthily but also in a climate-friendly way, we need to create the necessary conditions," said AOK chairwoman Carola Reimann. "A label that allows consumers to easily differentiate between climate-friendly and climate-damaging foods would be an important first step."

Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed said they would like to eat more sustainably, yet although 71 percent had heard the term "climate-friendly nutrition" before, only 36 per cent knew what it meant. When it comes to nutritional choices, only a quarter were aware that eating or drinking less animal products such as meat or milk has the greatest positive effect on the climate. Six percent of respondents said that they never eat meat, while 18 percent said they do so every day. However, almost two thirds of meat eaters said that they could imagine reducing their meat consumption. Sixty-eight percent of respondents were in favour of lower taxes on healthy foods, and 55 percent in favour of higher taxes on climate-damaging foods.

Earlier this year, a citizens’ assembly on improving nutrition in Germany also called for a mandatory food label that includes information on the product’s climate impact, as well as its impact on animal welfare and health. The climate label “should be based exclusively on the greenhouse gas emission criterion,” according to the assembly’s recommendations for the country’s parliament.

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