The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has mapped out how British farming can reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 in a new report.
On 10 September, it released Achieving Net Zero: Farming’s 2040 Goal, built around three key pillars of activity to help reach that 2040 target – improving farming’s productive efficiency; improving land management and changing land use to capture more carbon; and boosting renewable energy and the wider bio-economy.
Under these pillars, the NFU proposed using a range of techniques to enhance productivity and deliver the same output or more from every farm, while also working smarter to use fewer inputs; and bigger hedgerows, more trees and woodland, as well as efforts to enhance soil organic matter and conserve existing carbon stores in grassland and pasture in a bid to increase farming’s ability to capture more carbon. It also advocated greater use of bioenergy and other bio-based materials in farming to displace greenhouse gas emissions.
NFU President, Minette Batters, said: “I am also very clear that we can deliver on our commitment to net zero while retaining, if not growing, our agricultural capacity. We must avoid anything that undermines UK food production, and merely exports our greenhouse gas emissions to other parts of the world.”