Two cattle on a farm look into the camera.
The World Bank report explains how nations can reduce emissions by changing farming practices. Image by Con Chronis/AAP PHOTOS

Abolition of farming not on the World Bank agenda

Meghan Williams June 10, 2024

The World Bank has notified Western nations that they must completely abolish farming to achieve net zero emissions by 2030.


False. The World Bank's report presents solutions to cut global agricultural emissions, but abolishing farming is not one of them.

AAP FACTCHECK – Users on multiple social media platforms claim the World Bank has directed Western nations to abolish farming completely.

This is false. The international financial institution has released a report on strategies for nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural food systems, but it has not called for the abolition of farming. 

The false claim appears to have originated with an article by The People’s Voice, a notorious US-based misinformation publisher.

The article’s content has been reproduced in several posts on Facebook and shared widely on X (formerly Twitter).

“The World Bank has issued a notice to western nations that they must completely abolish farming in order to achieve ‘net zero emissions’ by the year 2030,” the posts say. 

“The plan involves closing down the world’s farms and placing them all under the control of a handful of WEF [World Economic Forum] Young Global Leaders, such as Bill Gates, who will then ‘radically alter the way food is grown’.”

Crossed out Facebook post saying World Bank wants West to end farming
 Online posts are circulating the wild false claim that the World Bank wants to abolish farming. 

The deceptive article provides only what it refers to as a “memo” from the World Bank as evidence for this claim. 

The word “memo” in the article links to a recent World Bank report titled Recipe for a Livable Planet: Achieving Net Zero Emissions in the Agrifood System.

That publication doesn’t call for the abolition of farming nor does it mention Bill Gates.

Instead, it identifies the agri-food system, which encompasses primary agriculture and related food industries and services, as the source of almost one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The document points out that livestock farming is the largest single source of greenhouse gas and methane emissions in the agri-food system.

It warns that the world cannot achieve the 2015 Paris Agreement emission targets without significantly reducing agri-food emissions.

The World Bank report suggests promoting low-emission foods such as fruits and vegetables over high-emission options such as beef and dairy, adopting sustainable land use practices, and using low-emission energy sources and cleaner production processes to reach net zero in the sector by 2050.

Front cover of the World Bank's Recipe for a Livable Planet report.
 The World Bank document in question does not call for farming to end. 

Abolishing farming is not one of the solutions suggested in the report.

The World Bank says it has never advocated for or asked any nation to abolish farming. 

“On the contrary, we are advocating for increased investments in farming – including in high-income countries – to help the sector become healthier, more productive and sustainable, and reflective of the needs of farmers,” a spokesperson told AAP FactCheck.

World Bank representatives presented the report at a recent conference, at which none of the speakers advocated for the abolition of farming. 

The Verdict

The claim the World Bank has notified Western nations that they must completely abolish farming to achieve net zero emissions by 2030 is false.

The World Bank document in question calls for nations to adopt various strategies to reduce their agri-food emissions, but it does not call for farming to be abolished.

A World Bank spokesperson told AAP FactCheck that the financial institution supports increased investment in farming.

False – The claim is inaccurate.

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In the story “FactCheck Abolish Farms” sent at: 07/06/2024 16:42.

Corrects the word “Work” to “World” in the Claim field.

This is a corrected repeat.

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