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Agriculture: Climate Change

House of Lords written question – answered on 21st January 2008.

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Photo of Lord Dykes Lord Dykes Spokesperson in the Lords (Europe), Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs, Spokesperson in the Lords (Cap Reform), Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans they will bring forward to give farmers more opportunities to work to reduce global warming, in view of the National Farmers' Union estimate that 1,000 hectares of crops absorbs between 30 and 60 tonnes of carbon per annum.

Photo of Lord Rooker Lord Rooker Minister of State (Sustainable Farming, Food and Animal Welfare), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Sustainable Farming, Food and Animal Welfare)

We are working with the Rural Climate Change Forum and the Farming Futures communication project to raise awareness among farmers and land managers and encourage them to change their behaviour. We are working to drive faster growth in anaerobic digestion by farmers, businesses and local authorities in a way that is both cost effective and beneficial to the environment. We are exploring the feasibility of market mechanisms to enable the trading of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, forestry and land management. We are looking at how measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can be included in agri-environment schemes in future. We also plan to publish shortly a critical review of the potential for organic matter returns and reduced tillage practices to influence soil carbon.

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