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The Worshipful Company of Farmers The Worshipful Company of Farmers The Committee published a a a a a a comprehensive review of of the climate impacts of of agriculture and and land
published in in January 2020 in in a a a a a report: Land use policies for a a a a a Net Zero UK
use in 2018
target for emissions covering all all gases and all all sectors
the the the last acts of the the the Theresa May Government in in in June 2019 was to enshrine this target in in in the the the Climate Change Act 2008 (2050 Target Amendment) Order 2019 The CCC has since published its ideas for how each sector can implement the the Net Zero target and and and their suggested policies relating to agriculture and and and land
use were
The following year it it published its advice to to Government to to set the UK-wide Net Zero 2050 53
This was quickly agreed by government and one of It is is is important to understand the the scope and and logic behind these policy proposals This is is is determined by The Worshipful Company of Farmers the the the nature of of the the the climate change interactions between food farming and and and wider land
use and and and the the the way GHG accounting is done in in the the global commitments on on on climate (through the the Intergovernmental Panel on on on Climate Change) as for example in the 2018
Paris Agreement Agriculture itself is is a a a a a a a small but significant emitter of GHG (45 6 MtCO2e 55 in in in 2017 which is is is is is 7% of of of total UK
emissions) These emissions emissions are mostly in in in the the form of of of methane (CH4) which mainly comes from enteric fermentation in in in ruminant livestock (38%) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from managed soils (52%) which is is an an inevitable part of the the nitrogen cycle in in in the the soil soil in in in crop production Farming also directly emits carbon dioxide through the burning of fossil fuels used in in in transport power lighting heating and cooling It is is acknowledged by the the CCC that whilst the the core non-CO2 emissions can and must be reduced they are are probably impossible to eliminate They are are an an an intrinsic part of the the biology/ biochemistry of ruminant and and crop farming Even with serious and and sustained efforts to reduce agricultural emissions agriculture is is expected to remain a a a a a a a net GHG emitter in in in in 2050 On the the other hand certain farming and and other land
use activities have the the capability of sequestering carbon – in in in soils and and in in in biomass These actions in in in what is called the Land Land use Land Land Use Change and and and Forestry (LULUCF) sector can thus offset remaining emissions in 2050 from the ‘difficult’ sectors
– agriculture (and aviation) This logic dictates that for climate protection purposes agriculture and and wider rural land
use must be considered together Based on on on their analysis of the the the the relationships involved the the the the CCC suggested that actions are required under five distinct headings involving agriculture LULUCF and food consumption These are summarised below with an indication (in parentheses) of of of the the the relative contribution of of of each set of of of actions measured as as the the the estimated savings in in in GHG by 2050 compared to business as usual •
Low-carbon farming practices such as as controlled release fertilisers improving livestock health and and slurry acidification to to to reduce emissions from soils livestock breeding and and feeding to to to inhibit CH4 and manure management (10 MtCO2e) Afforestation and and agro-forestry Increasing UK
forestry forestry cover from 13% of UK
area to at at least 17% by by 2050 by by planting around 30 000 hectares or or more of broadleaf and and conifer woodland each year (34 MtCO2e including the contribution of of harvested materials and agroforestry)
. 52
Committee on on Climate Change (2018) Land use: Reducing emissions and and preparing for climate change 53
The The detailed analysis of how this could be achieved sector sector by sector sector was published in May 2019 Net Zero Technical Report The The relevant sections
for for farming was chapter 7 Agriculture land
us us land
use change and and and forestry 54
https://www theccc org uk/publication/land-use-policies-for-a-net-zero-uk/
55 Whilst carbon dioxide is the the the principal Greenhouse gas methane nitrous oxide oxide (and others) are significant contributors to to climate change the the the effects of of of non-CO2 gases are converting to to to CO2-equivalents using global warming factors and the the result then quted in in in in millions of of of tonnes of of of CO2 CO2 CO2 equivalents abbreviated to MtCO2e 30 

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