Farming News - Industry responds to the Climate Change Committee's Carbon Budget

Industry responds to the Climate Change Committee's Carbon Budget

Vice President Stuart Roberts_69968

The Climate Change Committee's (CCC) Sixth Carbon Budget, required under the Climate Change Act, provides ministers with advice on the volume of greenhouse gases the UK can emit during the period 2033-2037.

Responding to the budget, NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts (pictured) said:

“While we agree with the CCC that there are multiple pathways to meet the carbon budget, it’s really disappointing that the comprehensive document overlooks the fact that people can continue to enjoy meat and dairy at the same time as reducing their carbon footprint, by considering where and how food is produced. For example, British farming has an ambition to be net zero by 2040 and the NFU’s plan outlines how we can achieve this while maintaining, if not increasing, our production of climate-friendly food.

“In Britain we already produce some of the most sustainable meat and dairy products in the world. Greenhouse gas emissions from UK beef are half that of the world average and we are continually improving as we transition to a net zero agriculture."

“It is important that we all understand the significance of where and how our food has been produced and choosing the most sustainable option. If you want to continue eating quality, nutritious red meat and dairy while also doing your bit for the planet, it can be as simple as buying British and checking where your red meat has been sourced when eating out.

“We will examine the details of the CCC report and continue working with government to ensure British farming can continue to deliver sustainable climate friendly food.”

CLA Deputy President Mark Tufnell said:

“Cutting greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 63% across the economy over the next 15 years is an extremely ambitious target.

“To reach this goal, the CCC has scaled up the level of ambition required from the agriculture and land use sectors, calling for emission reductions in farming alongside large targets for tree planting and peatland restoration – strengthening land use is a big part of the ‘solution’ to achieving net zero.

“For this to be feasible, government policies to support urgent action from English and Welsh landowners need to be put in place. The new Environmental Land Management scheme (ELMS) is seen as the main vehicle to reduce these emissions from agriculture, alongside increasing biodiversity and meeting other environmental targets. However, ELMS will not be available until 2024, and so we also need the right policy framework to allow private investment to come onstream, such as for carbon offsetting.

“Many rural businesses are already taking steps to move towards low carbon farming practices from improving sequestration and carbon storage, and are keen to encourage the rapid adoption of new technologies and innovation. However, the wider needs of both farming and nature must be considered in plans to combat climate change.”

“The CLA is also supportive of decarbonising the building stock, although this hugely ambitious target can only be achieved if the EPC methodology accurately assesses the thermal capacity of older buildings and the metric moves from using the fuel cost to carbon cost in its calculations. Targeted support must be made available for off-gas grid rural homes to enable an effective transition to low carbon heating. Furthermore, rural electricity grids need to be upgraded to cope with more electric heating.”