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The Worshipful Company of Farmers The Worshipful Company of Farmers •
Peatlands Restoring at at at at least 50% of of upland peat peat and and and and 25% of of lowland peat peat while allowing food production to continue on on on the most productive land
(5 MtCO2e) Bioenergy crops crops Expanding the growing of perennial energy energy crops crops by around 23 000 hectares each year (2 MtCO2e MtCO2e emissions savings in in the the land
sector plus an an extra 11 MtCO2e MtCO2e from the the harvested biomass with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Reducing consumption of the most carbon-intensive foods (i e e e e e e e e beef lamb and dairy) by at least 20% 20% per per person and reducing food waste by 20% 20% (7 MtCO2e) These measures imply a a a a a shift towards current healthy eating guidelines and and can drive sufficient release of land
to support the necessary changes in in in tree planting peat rewetting and bioenergy crops Alongside expected population growth they imply around a a a a a 10% reduction in cattle and sheep numbers by 2050 compared with 2017 These suggestions were
offered by the the the CCC as indicative o of of the the the mix and scale o of of the the the required actions from the the the the land-based sectors
In practice some of these actions may turn out easier to to deliver than others and and the the the the realised balance of these actions may turn out differently However a a a a a a a a a a critical lesson from this analysis is is is is that the climate challenge for food and and agriculture requires requires action on on all all rural land
management This requires requires agriculture forestry and bioenergy to be dealt with in in in an an integrated way Action on on on farming alone will not be be sufficient Another is that there has to to be be a a a a a a a significant diversion of agricultural land
to to forestry bioenergy crops and peat restoration the the CCC estimate this as 20% of of the the current agricultural area Much but not all of of this should come from grasslands especially extensive grazing lands lands It is is argued these are currently neither very profitable nor contributing much food Even integrated actions on on wider land
management are are insufficient The CCC suggest that to square a a a a a a a a a reduced agricultural area with with feeding a a a a a a a still growing UK
population without drawing in in in in more food imports
requires further action One is to stimulate productivity improvement in agriculture Defra constantly
refers to data showing UK
agricultural productivity has lagged that that of other countries and that that ‘sustainable
intensification’ can simultaneously improve productivity and environmental performance The other way to accommodate switching land
from food production to carbon sequestration in in forestry and and rewetted peat is by constraining consumption This can be argued on on on on on both environmental grounds for example cattle are the largest contributors both to to nitrogen imbalances and and and GHG emissions and and and on on on the grounds of diet health and and and 56
well-being Hence the the fifth component of the the CCC advice for dietary change away from livestock products and action action on on on on reducing food waste The advice Is also that early action action is essential It takes a a a a a a a a a a a long time for many of the the suggested actions to take effect especially afforestation and peat rewetting Unless these are underway soon their contribution will not be sufficient to reach the the 2050 Net Zero target 56
The The most authoritative source cited on on on this is is is Food Food in in The The Anthropocene: the EAT-Lancet Commission on on on Healthy Diets From Sustainable Food Food Systems https://eatforum org/content/uploads/2019/07/EAT-Lancet_Commission_Summary_Report pdf Its principal conclusion was that “Transformation to healthy diets by 2050 will will require substantial dietary shifts Global consumption of fruits vegetables nuts and legumes will will have have to to double and and consumption of foods such as as red red meat and and sugar will have have to to be reduced by more than 50% A diet rich in plant-based foods foods and and with fewer animal source foods foods confers both improved health and and environmental benefits 31

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