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MacEachen Institute researchers to study impact of agricultural incentives on climate, health

Posted by Stephanie Rogers on April 23, 2024 in News

Drs. Talan Iscan and Kathleen Kevany of Dalhousie University have joined the MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance as Project Leads. At the Institute, they will lead a project that will inform recommendations for policymakers in the agricultural sector that will support the sector in meeting Canada’s climate goals and the nutritional needs of Canadians.

“Despite evidence of the environmental and health benefits of plant-based agriculture, we are not seeing financial incentives and subsidies that support more production of plant-based foods,” says Dr. Talan Iscan, a professor in Dalhousie’s Department of Economics. “This will be imperative to combat both the harmful effects of climate change and high levels of diet-related illnesses in Canadians.”

“Agricultural support programs fall short in encouraging the production of plant-based foods at the scale needed to provide Canadians with healthy and affordable choices,” says Dr. Kathleen Kevany, a professor in the Department of Business & Social Sciences in Dalhousie’s Faculty of Agriculture. “This research will develop policy recommendations intended to reduce the sector’s climate impact and to encourage healthy diets as part of a sustainable transition for agriculture producers.”

As Project Leads, Drs. Iscan and Kevany will also contribute to the mission of the MacEachen Institute by engaging with policymakers and other stakeholders, organizing policy roundtables and panels, and mentoring young scholars.

“We are thrilled that Drs. Iscan and Kevany will be continuing their important work at the MacEachen Institute, and are grateful to Dalhousie’s Faculties of Science and Agriculture for supporting their appointment as Project Leads. Their timely research will inform policy recommendations to help address critical issues in environmental sustainability and public health,” says Dr. Kevin Quigley, Scholarly Director of the MacEachen Institute.

The MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance at Dalhousie University is a nationally focused, non-partisan, interdisciplinary institute designed to support the development of progressive public policy and to encourage greater citizen engagement.