NFU calls on Gov support for farmers to achieve net zero

Views sought to lay groundwork for UK’s new National Food Strategy
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Dmitry Kalinovsky

The president of the National Farmers Union (NFU) is urging the government to provide effective incentives to help farmers rather the industry’s net zero aspiration by 2040.

Speaking at today’s (5 July) Farming and Climate Change Conference – co-hosted by the NFU and Sustainable Food Trust – Minette Batters will emphasise that every farmer has a role to play in contributing to towards achieving net zero.

Mrs Batters will say: “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 gases, 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.”

The conference is designed to explore the unique capacity of farming systems to address the threats of climate change, biodiversity and soil carbon loss, while producing high quality, health-promoting food.