Most agricultural funding distorts prices and harms environment – UN report

Our readers will already know that agriculture is a polluting industry which raises a raft of challenges in the world-wide effort to tackle climate change.

The role played  by agricultural subsidies is addressed in a new UN report, which calls for repurposing government subsidies and incentives to achieve more of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and realise the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration.

The main finding of the report is that around 87% of the $540 billion in total annual government support given worldwide to agricultural producers includes measures that are price distorting and that can be harmful to nature and health.

The report, A multi-billion-dollar opportunity: Repurposing agricultural support to transform food systems, was published by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Global support to producers in the form of subsidies and other incentives, makes up 15 per cent of total agricultural production value.

By 2030, this is projected to more than triple, to $1.759 trillion. Continue reading