Farming: Scotland’s carbon target on track

The Climate Change Committee report on the UK government’s progress towards net zero released yesterday claimed more needs to be done to deliver targeted reductions – but Scotland’s farmers are doing their bit.

That was the message given by NFU Scotland President Martin Kennedy, who said that farmers and crofters in Scotland were already playing their part in addressing the challenges - with climate change mitigation, biodiversity enhancement and food production at the core of the sector’s response.

And he said that this had been reflected in the recent drop in greenhouse gas emissions from Scottish agriculture - but cautioned:

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“However, as we work towards net zero, it is essential that policies protect food security and ensure a Just Transition for Scottish agriculture.”

Stating that many rural communities and jobs in Scotland’s world class food and drink industries relied on active agriculture, he warned that taking agricultural land out of sustainable food production in the process would result in anything but a ‘Just Transition’, leading to rapid socio-economic decline across Scotland:

“There is also a significant risk that land use policies to support climate change mitigation will increase ‘carbon leakage’ where we offshore our emissions and our responsibilities on environmental stewardship and animal health and welfare,” Kennedy pointed out.

“Looking to the future, it is vital that agriculture, land use and biodiversity policies are holistic, practical, properly funded, and realistic. We continue to work with the Scottish Government to deliver a new agricultural policy which ensures a Just Transition for Scottish Agriculture.”



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