Stark warnings on farming emissions

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29 June 2022
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Climate Change Committee's report 'unsurprising' says Soil Association

TODAY the UK's Climate Change Committee is due to publish its 2022 Progress Report to Parliament which gives stark warnings to the UK government about agroecology and farming emissions.

Reacting, Soil Association Head of Farming Policy Gareth Morgan (pictured) said: “The Climate Change Committee’s warning that the UK will not reach net zero by 2050 is alarming but not a surprise. The committee is right to highlight that progress in reducing farming emissions has been glacial – government urgently needs to wake up to the scale of the challenge. The committee is also right to challenge the government’s over-reliance on innovation and productivity gains to improve farm sustainability. We should act now to support a rapid shift to climate and nature-friendly farming across the UK, as evidence shows that agroecology can help us create a productive, diverse food system that is resilient in the face of a changing climate. We don’t have time to wait, and we can do this now.

“Despite a weak and disappointing Food White Paper published this month, the commitment to a Rural Land Use Framework is a key opportunity to set a clear direction for how we ensure our farm land is locking in carbon and providing habitats for nature, while also producing good food. But, as the Climate Change Committee points out today, we must see much more leadership from government on sparking a shift to healthy diets. If we all ate less but better meat alongside more homegrown fruit, vegetables and pulses, we could reduce farming emissions both at home and abroad.”

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The Soil Association has welcomed the CCC’s newly-commissioned work to explore the extent to which agroecological farming can be used to reduce emissions from the UK agricultural sector and stated that this should add to other evidence such as the recent Chatham House report and the Ten Years for Agroecology study.