Only weeks after calls were issued for a better recognition of the important role played by the farming industry in helping mitigate climate change, a new document outlining the industry’s performance in delivering renewable power has been published.
The brochure, which was drawn up jointly by the UK’s four farming unions, was released today as world leaders turned their attention to the role of agriculture in climate change at the United Nations’ COP22 climate conference in Marrakech.
Delivering Britain’s Clean Energy From The Land looks at the approach taken by 22 very different farmers from across the UK – and focuses on the renewable energy systems which they use on their farms for producing low carbon energy.
The unions said that recent ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change as legally binding opened the door to a wealth of opportunities for farmers to contribute to the low-carbon economy.
In a joint statement, the four union presidents said: “The farming industry grows the raw ingredients for the UK’s largest manufacturing sector food and drink, worth £108 billion, and provides jobs for 3.9 million people, all while using its natural resources to store carbon and generate clean renewable energy.
“Our report showcases our members’ ambitions and practical actions to be on the frontline of tackling the impact of climate change.”
NFUS president Allan Bowie said that agriculture had a unique role to play in the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
“Diversification into low-carbon renewable energy offers our farmer and grower members stable and predictable returns, making their agricultural businesses more resilient, profitable and competitive,” he said.
But he stressed that the move to reducing the carbon footprint of the industry was nothing new: “Farmers have embraced a diverse selection of technologies at different scales to meet the needs of their business and the country. They are keen to keep their businesses progressive and at the forefront of technology.”