Farming sector pushing for net-zero by 2040, says chief

NFU president Minette Batters
NFU president Minette Batters

Farming is part of the solution to climate change, NFU president Minette Batters has claimed.

The chief of the farmers’ union in England and Wales will outline the steps farmers are taking to produce “climate-friendly food for all” at a farming and climate change conference in Gloucestershire today.

“Climate change is the greatest and most compelling challenge facing society today and each and every one of us has a part to play to mitigate the climate threat,” said Ms Batters.

“For farmers, this means tackling the climate challenge head on – adapting the way we produce food to help deliver a greener planet for us all.”

She said that the British farming industry was pushing itself to become net-zero by 2040.

“This does not need to impact net farm income, and certainly doesn’t mean downsizing production or exporting our production abroad,” added Ms Batters. “Instead we need to implement a portfolio of methods to improve our production efficiency, capture more carbon on farmland and boost our production of bioenergy and land-based renewables.

“Effective incentives are going to be vital in each of these areas.”

She said British agriculture was uniquely placed to be a key part of the solution to the climate challenge as it is both a sink and a source of greenhouse gases.

“Our unique landscape and diverse farming systems enable us to produce food efficiently and sustainably, and we have been very clear in our ambition to build on this further and lead the way in climate-friendly food production,” added Ms Batters.

“Our journey towards climate neutrality must be made together.

“If we work together, learn from each other and share our ideas I truly believe we can reach our net-zero aspiration, and show the world that it can be done.”