Climate Action

Farmer’s union calls for net zero agriculture emissions in the UK by 2040

The National Famer’s Union (NFU) in the UK has called for net zero emissions from agriculture by 2040.

  • 07 January 2019
  • Rachel Cooper

The National Famer’s Union (NFU) in the UK has called for net zero emissions from agriculture by 2040.

The Oxford Farming Conference, held last week, brought people from the UK agricultural industry together to discuss future farming, innovation and the world beyond Brexit.

Agriculture is a major contributor to climate change and is responsible for around 10 per cent of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.

To combat this, NFU President Minette Batters said that emissions must reach net zero by 2040, she said: “I believe we can match and beat their lead – our aim must be ambitious, to get our industry to net zero across all greenhouse gas inventories by 2040 or before.”

The NFU also addressed their fears over a no-Brexit deal and what effect this would have on the farming industry.

Michael Gove, Environment Secretary, spoke at the conference about the benefits of Brexit, he said: "It allows us largely to diverge from EU regulation after the transition, to leave the Common Agricultural Policy and end all mandatory payments to the EU".

During the conference, Green MP, Caroline Lucas also called for a tax on meat to slash emissions. She said: “Better manure management and careful selection of feed can both help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but – at the risk of incurring the wrath of the energy secretary, who said recently that encouraging people to eat less meat would be the worst sort of nanny state ever – we need serious consideration of measures like a meat tax.”

This news follows the NFU calling for a united approach to tackle climate change, by asking the Government to set an appropriate emissions target.