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Agriculture: Carbon Emissions

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 2535, tabled on 13 January 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what (a) recent discussions she has had with farming unions on and (b) funding she plans to allocate to help in reducing carbon emissions after the UK leaves the EU.

Answered on

21 January 2020

This Government is committed to meeting net zero by 2050, and in 2019, the UK became the first major economy in the world to have legislated for a net zero target to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from across the UK economy by 2050.

Since the General Election, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has spoken with farming unions, amongst other groups to listen to their priorities for the year ahead. Engagement has included meetings with the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), along with wider farming groups at the Oxford Farming Conference and Oxford Real Farming Conference. Discussions covered the importance of our British farmers being the climate and nature leaders that the world is looking for and how The Secretary of State will raise the profile of agriculture across Government at the new Cabinet Committee for Climate Change.

The Secretary of State also mentioned that the UK will pioneer approaches that will show other governments what can be achieved if we rethink how we work with the land and produce our food to create a virtuous circle between agriculture, climate change, biodiversity, and investment.

Mitigation of and adaptation to climate change are important goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and important objectives of Environmental Land Management (ELM). ELM could support this through providing funding for land management activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon.

We have also provided £50 million funding for Woodland Creation Carbon Guarantee grants that will boost our carbon offset market and provide long-term payments for land managers planting trees.