NFU president urges farmers to tackle climate challenge “head on”

30 July 2019, 09:05 AM
  • Minette Batters urged farmers to work with industry leaders, scientists and policy makers to help reach climate change targets by 2040
NFU president urges farmers to tackle climate challenge “head on”

NFU President Minette Batters has spoken out about climate change and said that every farmer has a role to play, alongside other industry leaders, scientists and policy makers, in contributing towards Britain reaching its target of a net zero agriculture by 2040. Mrs Batters was speaking at a farming and climate change conference hosted by the NFU and Sustainable Food Trust, which covered the topics of climate change, biodiversity and soil carbon loss and the changes needed to deliver climate-friendly food.

She said, “Climate change is the greatest and most compelling challenge facing society today and each and every one of us has a part to play to mitigate the climate threat. For farmers, this means tackling the climate challenge head on – adapting the way we produce food to help deliver a greener planet for us all.”

“The British farming industry is pushing itself to become net zero by 2040. This does not need to impact net farm income, and certainly doesn’t mean downsizing production or exporting our production abroad. Instead we need to implement a portfolio of methods to improve our production efficiency, capture more carbon on farmland and boost our production of bioenergy and land-based renewables. Effective incentives are going to be vital in each of these areas.

“As both a sink and a source of greenhouse gasses, British agriculture is uniquely placed to be a key part of the solution to the climate challenge. Our unique landscape and diverse farming systems enable us to produce food efficiently and sustainably, and we have been very clear in our ambition to build on this further and lead the way in climate-friendly food production.

“Our journey towards climate neutrality must be made together. If we work together, learn from each other and share our ideas I truly believe we can reach our net zero aspiration, and show the world that it can be done.”

During the conference Mrs Batters also urged the government to provide incentives to help farmers reach the target.

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