Farmers targeted by £12m climate change research

The government has announced a £12.6m fund to examine how agriculture contributes to climate change. About 8% of all UK greenhouse gas emissions are from farming, but the way farming […]

Register now!

By Kelvin Ross

The government has announced a £12.6m fund to examine how agriculture contributes to climate change.

About 8% of all UK greenhouse gas emissions are from farming, but the way farming emissions are calculated fails to take into account the differences between different practices or the effects of innovative approaches and new policies that aim to reduce GHG emissions.

The research fund aims to highlight these differences and give farmers the evidence needed to take more effective steps to reduce emissions.

The National Farmers’ climate change adviser Ceris Jones said: “This announcement is good news. Farmers and growers are continually striving to make more efficient use of resources – nutrients, livestock, energy and water – it makes good business sense. It also makes good climate sense.”

Meanwhile, the NFU has accused grain merchants of burdening farmers who supply biofuel crops with unnecessary red tape.

The accusation comes after UK merchants issued farmers with forms to sign that would confirm their crops complied with the sustainability standards of the Renewable Energy Directive.

The forms are part of a new German scheme called RedCert, but the NFU stressed this was voluntary and only recognised in that country.

The extra paperwork is both unnecessary and could jeopardise the UK’s competitiveness, said NFU combinable crops board chairman Ian Backhouse.

“We need to make growers aware that they needn’t be pressured into giving any additional information to UK merchants or any other EU trade body without reward or compensation for higher burden and risk.

“There is no real justification for this new form as our growers are already audited to ensure they meet the sustainable requirements needed to sell grain into the EU under the Renewable Energy Directive.”