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A European Union Times headline shared on Instagram misrepresented a commitment made by 13 countries, including the United States, to reduce methane emissions from the agricultural sector. These countries did not agree to "abolish farming."
Methane is a major driver of climate change, and 40% of the world’s human-derived methane emissions come from the agricultural sector.
Global organizations have proposed reducing methane emissions, but these do not include getting rid of farming.
Social media users are claiming the leaders of more than a dozen countries are telling farmers to call it quits to address climate change.
In a July 27 Instagram reel, a person says, "In case you missed it, 13 nations agree to abolish farming in order to save the planet." The person points to a European Union Times headline that makes the same claim.
This Instagram post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
The European Union Times describes itself as an "international newspaper" whose ideology is "Christian and Conservative." Its article about certain countries abolishing farming was copied from the Liberty Sentinel, another conservative website.
Both the European Union Times and the Liberty Sentinel reference a May 17 press release from the Global Methane Hub, a Santiago, Chile-based philanthropic organization focused on lowering global methane emissions.
But the Global Methane Hub press release makes no mention of countries abolishing farming to reduce methane emissions.
According to the release, following the first Ministerial Conference on Low Emissions Food Systems in Santiago in April, agricultural and environmental leaders of 13 major livestock-producing countries, such as John Kerry, U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, committed to improving climate change adaptation and mitigation measures, as well as to lowering methane emissions in agriculture and food systems.
Methane is a greenhouse gas primarily emitted by human activities that, along with carbon dioxide, is a major driver of climate change.
The countries signing the pledge were Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Chile, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Germany, Panama, Peru, Spain, the United States and Uruguay.
The press release does not say what specific changes these countries will make to reduce methane emissions.
However, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, one of the conference’s collaborators, has proposed solutions for the agricultural sector in its 2021 Global Methane Assessment. The coalition is a voluntary partnership of more than 160 governments, intergovernmental groups and nongovernmental organizations.
Solutions include improving animal health and husbandry, water management of rice paddies, sustainable eating practices and food chain management.
Nearly all human-caused methane emissions come from three sectors: agriculture, fossil fuels and waste, according to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition. The global agricultural sector, which includes livestock rearing, animal manure and rice production, is the largest contributor of human-derived methane emissions at 40%. Fossil fuels account for 35% and waste from food and organic materials makes up 20%.
The Climate and Clean Air Coalition’s Global Methane Assessment found that agricultural methane emissions can be reduced by up to 25% by 2030 through low-cost solutions that use existing technologies. "But solutions are not yet being applied at sufficient scale," the report says. The Global Methane Assessment does not advocate for abolishing farming as a way to reduce methane emissions.
We rate the claim that 13 countries have agreed "to abolish farming in order to save the planet" False.
Instagram reel, July 27, 2023
European Union Times, "13 Nations Agree to Abolish Farming in order to 'Save the Planet'," June 4, 2023
The Liberty Sentinel, "Globalists revving up plans to engineer global famine and starvation: 13 nations agree to convert over to less-productive ‘green’ farming methods," June 2, 2023
Global Methane Hub, "Major Livestock Producing Countries Commit to Mitigate Methane in Agriculture," May 17, 2023
Climate and Clean Air Coalition, "Global Meeting Puts Agricultural Methane Reductions On The Agenda," April 24, 2023
Climate and Clean Air Coalition, "Benefits and costs of mitigating methane emissions," accessed Aug. 3, 2023
Climate and Clean Air Coalition, "Methane," accessed Aug. 3, 2023
Climate and Clean Air Coalition, "Agriculture solutions," accessed Aug. 3, 2023
Logically Facts, "No, 13 nations did not commit abolishing farming to ‘save the planet’," Aug. 3, 2023
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