Sadiq Khan has not signed a ‘WEF treaty’ to ban meat, flights and cars by 2030

19 February 2024
What was claimed

Sadiq Khan has signed a World Economic Forum treaty to ban meat, dairy, flights and private cars in London by 2030.

Our verdict

This is not true—no such treaty exists. The report cited as evidence features ‘ambitious targets’ to reduce the carbon footprint of cities, including not having private cars and no meat and dairy consumption, but does not enforce them or tell cities to implement them.

Online posts are claiming the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has signed a World Economic Forum (WEF) treaty to ban meat, dairy, flights and private cars in the capital by 2030. But this is not true. 

The claim appears to have come from an article published by The People’s Voice titled: “London Mayor Signs WEF Climate Treaty To Ban Meat, Dairy, Flights, Private Cars by 2030”. Multiple posts have linked to the article or copied text from it directly. 

The WEF is a foundation headquartered in Switzerland that engages with governments and business leaders on global issues. 

Screenshots of the headline have also been shared on Facebook with captions including: “What gives him the right”, “England has fallen”, and “There’s a storm coming”. 

However, there’s no evidence that any such treaty exists. The evidence cited in The People's Voice article does not actually support the claim. 

These measures do not appear in Mr Khan’s “preferred pathway” for reaching net zero in London by 2030. 

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What does the article say?

The article claims these “demands” come from a report allegedly commissioned by Mr Khan as part of the “globalist C40 Climate Leadership group”. 

C40 Cities describes itself as a “global network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities that are united in action to confront the climate crisis”, and Mr Khan was elected as its co-chair in 2021. 

The report that the article links to was published before this, in 2019, and while it does analyse consumption-based emissions, it does not legally compel any such restrictions to be introduced, as the article claims.

A table from the report showing an “ambitious target” of zero meat and dairy consumption per person by 2030 is included in the article. However, the full report makes clear that these ambitious targets are “based on a future vision” of “resource-efficient production” and “extensive changes in consumer choice”.  

It says: “This report does not advocate for the wholesale adoption of these more ambitious targets in C40 cities; rather, they are included to provide a set of reference points that cities, and other actors, can reflect on when considering different emission-reduction alternatives and long-term urban visions.”

Zero private vehicles and one return short-haul flight per person every three years have also been listed as “ambitious targets” in the report.  

A C40 Cities spokesperson told Full Fact: “The report is a generic analysis of consumption-based emissions not looking at any specific C40 city. It is not a plan for cities to adopt. It’s up to individuals to make their personal lifestyle choices, including what type of food to eat.” 

The Greater London Authority (GLA) commissioned a report, published in 2022, to draw up four possible ways to achieve net zero emissions in London by 2030. Mr Khan selected a series of measures under a so-called “Accelerated Green pathway”. This “preferred pathway” includes the targets of  a 27% reduction in kilometres travelled by car and a reduction in air travel demand to 50% both relative to 2018 levels, but it does not include banning cars or limiting flights. It also does not include any references to meat and dairy consumption. 

The UK has a legally-binding target requiring it to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. 

The World Economic Forum

Moreover, the C40 Cities report did not receive any funding from the WEF, and was published with engineering consultancy Arup and the University of Leeds. 

While C40 Cities has contributed to content on the WEF website, it does not appear to have any formal partnerships with the organisation. Mr Khan has also contributed to the WEF’s website, but Full Fact could find no evidence of him signing a legally-binding agreement with the organisation. 

Correspondence between Mr Khan and the WEF, particularly its Executive Chairman, Klaus Schwab, in the period of 2019 to 2021 show no reference to such a treaty. 

The WEF has been the subject of much misinformation Full Fact has written about before, including that it’s planning the ‘end of national sovereignty’, has its own paramilitary force and is engineering the climate. We’ve also seen false claims that the UN’s Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development is enforcing similar restrictions on food and travel. 

Full Fact contacted the WEF for comment and will update this article if we receive a response. 

The People’s Voice

This is not the first time we’ve written about false or unevidenced claims that appear to have come from articles in The People’s Voice, including that President Putin said Mr Schwab was a “legitimate military target”, the Pope said disabled people should be “euthanized", and that a UN expert claimed Christians who don’t accept paedophiles will be “excluded from society”

The People’s Voice is connected to the websites YourNewsWire and NewsPunch, which have been identified by other fact checkers as frequent sources of misinformation. The website did not respond to Full Fact’s request for comment. 

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