Agriculture: Carbon Emissions

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 18th June 2021.

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Photo of Kieran Mullan Kieran Mullan Conservative, Crewe and Nantwich

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to reduce emissions caused by agriculture sector.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Prime Minister has been clear that tackling climate change is a priority for this Government. Since 1990, emissions from agriculture have reduced by 13%. Today, agriculture accounts for around 10% of the UK's total GHG emissions. Achieving the net zero target is key for the Government, and we are developing a range of measures to address it through the Agriculture Act, our future farming policy, the 25 Year Environment Plan, and our response to Henry Dimbleby's Independent Review of the food system and national food strategy review. All of these are aimed at enabling farmers to optimise sustainable food production, reduce emissions from agriculture and allow consumer choices to drive those changes.

We are also introducing three schemes that reward environmental benefits: The Sustainable Farming Incentive, Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery. Together, these schemes are intended to provide a powerful vehicle for achieving the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and our commitment to Net Zero emissions by 2050, while supporting our rural economy. Through these schemes, farmers and other land managers may enter into agreements to be paid for delivering public goods, including adaptation to and mitigation of climate change.

The Clean Growth Strategy and 25 Year Environment Plan both set out a range of specific commitments to further reduce emissions from agriculture, including through environmental land management, strengthening biosecurity and control of endemic diseases in livestock, and encouraging use of low emissions fertilisers.

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