Can farming achieve its ambitious 2040 net zero emissions target?
- Credit: citizenside.com
Bold plans to deliver climate neutral agriculture by 2040 have been welcomed by the National Farmers’ Union’s (NFU) Suffolk branch chairman, who described global warming as “the biggest challenge of our time”.
Within the next 20 years, the NFU wants to reduce UK farming's contribution to climate change from 10% of our emissions to zero through a combination of measures including more trees and hedgerows, efficiency improvements and renewable energy schemes, putting the industry 10 years ahead of government's overall 2050 target, announced in June 2019.
Glenn Buckingham, who farms at Helmingham, near Debenham, described the NFU target as "very ambitious".
The NFU's report, Achieving Net Zero: Farming's 2040 Goal, shows that while agriculture accounts for 10% of emissions, homes emit 15%, business 17%, energy supply 24% and transport 27%.
MORE - Will farmers have enough water to irrigate crops as aquifers fall to historic lows?"The NFU is very focused on agriculture's remit in this task and to present the issues in a fair but challenging way. It is very easy to look at other sectors and not look at your own and the responsibility we have," said Mr Buckingham.
"We will be looking for all the science and technology to aid us, better utilisation of all resources needs help, from artificial inputs to soil management and water - they are all part of the answer."
You may also want to watch:
Mr Buckingham - a keen supporter of climate change targets - said the challenge could be the biggest of all time "especially when very few people understand their own carbon footprint and how the planet is being taxed by their actions".
"Going forward we must remember all types of human activity have carbon emissions attached to them, so to meet net zero targets, all parts of life will be affected," he said, adding that "significant changes" would be needed to ensure success.
- 1 Six senior players - including Downes - will start pre-season with Under-23s
- 2 League One side showing strong interest in Ipswich youngster Lankester
- 3 Head chef frustrated after 13 'no shows'
- 4 Town show Jacobs interest but injury holds up potential deal
- 5 Man dies following stabbing in Bury St Edmunds
- 6 Woman who pocketed cash for memorial bench avoids prison
- 7 Man in 50s dies following crash on Suffolk border
- 8 When Eagles Dare documentary reveals how close Ian Holloway came to being named Ipswich Town manager
- 9 Rubbish dumped on A14 approach road
- 10 Mike Bacon: We needed an enormous brush.... And it looks like we are getting one!
The NFU is adopting a three-pronged approach to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
It wants farmers to "work smarter" to improve productivity using fewer inputs and plant more woods and hedgerows. It also wants to displace greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through bioenergy and bio-based materials like hemp fibre and sheep's wool.
NFU president Minette Batters said there was no single answer to the climate change challenge but farmers had a "sense of urgency" for what is needed.
The NFU will be holding zero emissions workshops this winter across the UK.