Agriculture Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:42 pm on 10th October 2018.

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Photo of Sue Hayman Sue Hayman Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 1:42 pm, 10th October 2018

As I have said, we believe that greater powers are provided for Welsh Ministers than English Ministers in this Bill; there is more certainty. It is really important that we bring that back.

On Sunday, I attended a harvest festival at my local church, and I am sure that many hon. Members did something similar. I know that the whole House will join me in expressing our thankfulness for everything that the farming community in this country achieves to help feed the nation, often against the odds. After the extreme weather that farmers endured last winter and this summer, they are probably more affected by climate change than any other sector.

However, agriculture now accounts for 10% of UK greenhouse gas emissions—a larger share than at any time since 1990—and the Committee on Climate Change has reported that there has been virtually no change in agricultural emissions since 2008. This means that agricultural emissions are not on track to deliver the carbon budget savings required by 2022.

Net carbon sequestration from forestry has flatlined but the Bill provides only for mitigating or adapting to climate change. It seems that the Secretary of State has not heard the Committee’s call, made only in June, for this Bill to link financial support to agricultural emissions reduction and increased carbon sequestration.