UK growers need urgent support to achieve net zero target, warn peers

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31 January 2022
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Newly-unveiled report calls for government support

GOVERNMENT plans for nature-based solutions are at severe risk of failure and will undermine the agricultural sector unless there is more policy clarity, urgent investment in research, skills training and the introduction of a new advisory service for farmers and land managers, it has been claimed.

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee is calling on the UK government to support research and demonstration projects in different natural habitats; the introduction of a new training and advisory service for farmers and land managers to help them negotiate a 'new and complex funding landscape; guaranteed funding for land managers and farmers over the long term; a redefinition of the role of carbon and natural capital markets; and clarification on how competing demands on land will be balanced and not simply offshored.
 
Head of the Food & Farming team at UK law firm Burges Salmon, Tom Hewitt (pictured), said the report confirms the concerns many growers have about the uncertainties and complexities they face in the new funding landscape. 

"This could well reduce the farming sector’s ability to contribute to the country reaching Net Zero by 2050," he said. "It follows on from the report of the Public Accounts Committee earlier this month, which expressed serious concerns about the roll-out of Environmental Land Management Schemes – the cornerstone of future government ‘public goods’ support for English farmers.”

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