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Greenhouse Gas Action Plan's progress report published

16th May 2016

SOURCE: NFU Climate Change

At the end of April the Greenhouse Gas Action Plan published a report which demonstrates the contribution that can be made by agriculture in England towards meeting the UK’s and the world’s challenging goals.

The report which can be accessed here highlights the actions taken by the agricultural industry which have had a positive effect on production efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions.

Increased professionalism across the industry, the launch of the Feed Advisers Register, the addition of new GHG mitigation training into the Fertilisers Advisers Certification and Training Scheme (FACTS), famers signing up to Dairy Pro and the pig industry Professional register, are all paying dividends and have been delivered despite the challenging economic climate and the impacts of significant weather events in recent years.

Richard Laverick, Chief Technical Officer from the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) said: “The work of AHDB focusses on supporting farmers and the supply chains across all sectors, to improve productivity and deliver reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. We aim to make our industry more competitive and sustainable through factual, evidence based information and activity.”

More soil sampling from grasslands and the adoption of renewables also show the large range of activities undertaken by famers to help deliver climate change mitigation whilst being good for the farm business.

Guy Smith, Vice President of the NFU said: “Farmers are committed to improving their businesses whether it’s fine tuning nutrient management on arable farms so reducing nitrous oxide emissions or tackling infections on livestock units, so decreasing methane emissions.

“But if farming is to fulfil its future potential, the food chain must support profitable farming, backed by the government providing the right regulatory framework and fiscal incentives. The irony is that with exciting current developments in technology such as robotics, GPS guidance, remote sensing and camera recognition, farmers increasingly have the ability to farm more precisely and thus reduce their GHG footprint, however without a profit margin, the necessary investment cannot be made.”

The GHGAP is also looking towards the future. It has identified some significant next steps to keep it on track to meeting its 2020 targets and beyond.  This will require the application of new science and incentives to drive the uptake of key practices and technologies and a continuation of the collaborative approach already established. 

Head of Environment Policy at the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC), Jane Salter said: “The  support and openness of the GHG Research Platform has been exemplary and we look forward to incorporating its research into the next phase of our work. We have also benefitted from the expertise within Defra statistics and the wealthy of survey data has been the bedrock on which we’ve built our report. It is critically important that this collaborative approach continues.

To read this article in its original format, please click here.