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Ninety Percent of Global Farm Subsidies Damage People and Planet, Says UN

Almost half a trillion dollars of support a year harms people’s health, the climate and drives inequality

Almost 90% of the $540bn in global subsidies given to farmers every year are “harmful”, a startling UN report has found.

This agricultural support damages people’s health, fuels the climate crisis, destroys nature and drives inequality by excluding smallholder farmers, many of whom are women, according to the UN agencies.

The biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, such as beef and milk, received the biggest subsidies, the report said. These are often produced by large industrialised groups that are best placed to gain access to subsidies.

Without reform, the level of subsidies was on track to soar to $1.8tn (£1.3tn) a year by 2030, further harming human wellbeing and worsening the planetary crisis, the UN said.

Almost 90% of the $540bn in global subsidies given to farmers every year are “harmful”, a startling UN report has found.

This agricultural support damages people’s health, fuels the climate crisis, destroys nature and drives inequality by excluding smallholder farmers, many of whom are women, according to the UN agencies.

The biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, such as beef and milk, received the biggest subsidies, the report said. These are often produced by large industrialised groups that are best placed to gain access to subsidies.

Without reform, the level of subsidies was on track to soar to $1.8tn (£1.3tn) a year by 2030, further harming human wellbeing and worsening the planetary crisis, the UN said.