The latest United Nations report on the state of the world’s environment recommends taxing consumers who buy foods associated with higher greenhouse gas emissions and increasing agricultural production on land where it is most environmentally efficient.

Deep changes are needed because “the food system, in response to growing and changing consumer demand, is increasing pressure on local ecosystems and on the global climate”, the UN’s sixth Global Environment Outlook warns. To address this, it encourages moving subsidies away from production or inputs such as fertiliser, to pay farmers to reduce pollution such as greenhouse gas emissions instead. The trend in the EU to pay farmers increasingly for proven environmental results is seen as positive, while the current greening scheme is criticised.