Food, Climate Change, Rationing

Part of the Sadler Seminar Series 'What to eat? Values and food choice'.

Wändi Bruine de Bruin and Astrid Kause (Centre for Decision Research, LUBS) will present 'How consumers perceive environmental and climate impact of food choices - a decision sciences perspective'.

The seminar will provide an interdisciplinary perspective on the question of how consumers perceive a changing climate – and how these perceptions relate to one of the major sources of global greenhouse gas emissions, namely their daily food choices.

They will discuss the carbon savings potential associated with changes in daily food choices, and how consumers' values and knowledge influence perceptions of environmental impact of food.

They will end with providing insight into how very simple decision strategies can potentially help consumers and policy makers to decrease their carbon footprints associated with food choice.

It will be followed by Rob Lawlor and Nathan Wood (IDEA CETL) discussing 'Managing our Hunger for Carbon'.

When discussing options to mitigate climate change, a number of approaches are considered; voluntaristic approach focusing on the ethical choices of individuals, economic approaches, aiming to discourage some behaviours and give incentives for others (primarily using taxes, subsidies and market creation), or regulation that simply would not allow certain activities.

When considering climate change in general, the suggestion that we should rely on the voluntary ethical decisions made by individuals is rarely taken seriously. However, it is plausible to think that food is an exception here: restrictions on what we choose to eat seem unpalatable to many, and a tax on food looks problematic.

They will draw on the history of food rationing during World War II to argue that rationing is an option that should be taken seriously. They will compare rationing with a) voluntarism, b) tax based solutions and c) tradable carbon allowances, and we will highlight the egalitarian nature of rationing.

Location details

LHRI (Seminar Room 1 and 2)