The UK government has announced a £12.6 million fund to examine how agriculture contributes to climate change.
About 8% of all UK greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are from farming, but the way farming emissions are calculated fails to take into account the differences between different farming practices or the effects of innovative approaches and new policies that aim to reduce GHG emissions.
This research fund aims to help industry understand these differences and give farmers the evidence needed to take more effective steps to reduce emissions.
“Farmers and growers are continually striving to make more efficient use of resources – nutrients, livestock, energy and water – it makes good business sense. It also makes good climate sense,” said NFU climate change adviser Dr Ceris Jones.
“Emissions from UK agriculture have decreased by over 20% since 1990. However the current simplified method of calculating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has meant that it has mostly only been possible to attribute this change to reductions in the number of livestock and the amount of fertiliser applied.
“The NFU and others in the agriculture industry have been calling for an improved inventory that better reflects the many changes in farm practice such as changes to livestock diets that can lead to a reduction in GHG emissions. This funding will therefore help demonstrate the progress that our members are making in tackling climate change.”