Food Policy on Trial – in the dock: Carbon border adjustment tax

Our Food Policy on Trial events explore selected emerging food policy ideas at inquiry-style sessions. Expert witnesses provide evidence and are then questioned by both a Food Ethics Council jury panel and members of the audience. They are designed primarily for policymakers and policy influencers, but are also open to interested members of the general public.

In our Food Policy on Trial events, those attending can make their own considered judgements of whether the policy idea ‘on trial’ is likely to contribute to or hinder progress towards healthy, fair, environmentally sustainable, humane food and farming. Previously we have critically explored the idea of a meat tax, the notion of introducing plain packaging on junk food and the concept of Universal Basic Income as it relates to food systems.

For this online Food Policy on Trial, we will consider the idea of a Carbon border adjustment tax. While not a food policy, we feel it is important to explore whether mechanisms such as this have the potential to be important for food outcomes. Crucially, we’re not starting from the premise that a carbon border adjustment tax is necessarily a good thing. We want to critically explore its merits and pitfalls. We welcome your participation – to ask questions of the expert witnesses or just to listen – and encourage you to form your own judgement as to whether a form of carbon border adjustment tax has the potential to contribute to fair, sustainable food systems or not. Please register to join!

Our speakers will include:

  • Professor Dieter Helm, Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Oxford;
  • Angela Francis, Chief Advisor, Economics and Economic Development, WWF-UK;
  • Chiara Putaturo, EU Inequality and Tax Policy Advisor, Oxfam;
  • Jack Watts, Agri-food Policy Delivery Manager, National Farmers’ Union (NFU).

Our jury panel will consist of members of the Food Ethics Council. The event will run from 3.30-5.20pm and will be followed by optional break-out spaces for half an hour for those that want to reflect further.

‘Food policy on trial’ sessions are run by the Food Ethics Council and are a way of encouraging constructive debate about possible policy ideas relating to food and farming. We plan to run two ‘food policy on trial’ sessions each year. This event is kindly supported by the Polden Puckham Charitable Foundation. With thanks also to Lindy Sharpe from Food Research Collaboration for her invaluable input in helping design this series.


15th June 2021
3:30 - 6:00 pm


Food Ethics Council
York Way

Sign Up