“Reducing sugar consumption will provide significant benefits in the fight against climate change.as well as recovering from the health and economic crises associated with the coronavirus pandemic”. With this statement, the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) summarizes the result of a study by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA). It analyzes the climate and sustainability side benefits of reducing global sugar consumption. significant benefits to human health.
To achieve environmental sustainability goals while recovering from the health and economic crises caused by the pandemic”creative political solutions“Says the study, titled ‘Sugar taxes for climate and sustainability goals’ and published in ‘Nature Sustainability.
Researchers emphasize that sugar crops are probably the least efficient in terms of health consumption, but the most efficient for biofuel production.. Scientists looked at the sustainability co-benefits of reducing sugar consumption with r.Directing existing sugar farmlands to alternative uses.
According to the results of the study, Emissions could fall by between 20.9 and 54.3 million tonnes of CO2 per year if the European Union (EU) reduces sugar consumption in line with sanitary rules and if excess Brazilian sugarcane is diverted to ethanol production. But there are scenarios where the reduction in emissions will double or quadruple.
Increase sugar taxes
“These savings would be about four times greater than an alternative reforestation strategy of existing sugar beet farmland in the EU. In the report signed by Lewis C. King and Jeroen van den Bergh from ICTA-UAB, it was stated that ethanol production from sugar beet will double in the European Union.
“Achieving this through policies for behavior change plays an important role. sugar taxesnot only will it reduce the environmental impacts of biofuels, but it will also provide health and economic benefits,” they say in the research summary.
The study concludes: EU-Brazil agreement focused on sugar production from sugar beet, and this South American country produces ethanol from sugarcane will bring the greatest environmental benefits to society.
Ethanol production from sugar cane has already been proven. Economically viable alternative to sugar in Brazilexperts point out. Then, The economic impact on farmers will be minimal in both the EU and Brazil.will result in a fair specialization Among countries that have improved welfare by reducing negative externalities
“It’s a clear example of how extensive collaboration can help steer society in a more sustainable direction,” says Jeroen van den Bergh.
Similar approach to tobacco use
Ensuring this reduction in sugar intake is probably a An approach similar to the one that helped the EU significantly reduce tobacco use in last decade: education and policies for behavior changehighlights the UAB, which has an important role for taxes.
“It has been shown that sugar taxes are effective and politically popular in countries like the UK and therefore present promising political tool indirectly contributing to achieving climate change goals,” adds the academic presence.
Moreover, taxation of sugar will not only affect end use, but also reduce the use of sugar by manufacturing sectors such as beverages.
“For sustainability policies to be efficient and effective, we must consider the full impact on all three pillars: environmental, social and economic. Changing the way we use sugar plants offers an attractive strategy in this regard, because sugar is likely least efficient for use as foodIn addition to its negative effects on health; it’s also the most efficient product for biofuel in terms of net energy,” says King, first author of the paper.
The EU consumes about 12% of the world’s sugar. Most of the sugar consumed in the EU still comes from beets, but everything indicates that the market share of sugarcane on the market will increase significantly in the coming years.
A “as low as possible” purchase
Sugars are a source of energy. Some types of sugar (for example, glucose) are necessary for the proper functioning of organs such as the heart and brain.. Carbohydrates from starchy foods can be used by the body as a source of glucose.
But Scientific evidence supports EU recommendations to limit the intake of added and free sugars.. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) of the European Union, sugar intake should be “as low as possible”consistent with a nutritionally adequate diet.
Despite the evaluation of more than 30,000 publications by EFSA, Scientifically it is “not possible to determine a maximum tolerable intake” of daily sugar.experts confirm—with varying degrees of certainty—the relationship between sugars and a range of sugars. health problems.
Excess dietary sugars are stored in the body, for example as fat for later use. If these reserves are not used, they can accumulate over time and cause problems in the body.
Between metabolic diseases Due to excessive sugar intake, cardiovascular diseases, dental caries, obesity, liver disease, type 2 diabetes, high bad cholesterol, gout and hypertension can be counted.
Reference report: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-022-00934-4