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Farming industry leaders out to prove green credentials

NFU Scotland vice-president Martin Kennedy
NFU Scotland vice-president Martin Kennedy

Scottish farm leaders are on a mission to prove the industry’s green credentials ahead of a major climate change conference in Glasgow later this year.

NFU Scotland (NFUS) climate change policy manager, Ruth Taylor, is leading industry preparations for the COP26 conference in November, and work is ongoing to identify facts and figures about the greenhouse gas emissions produced from farming and crofting.

NFUS vice-president Martin Kennedy said the evidence was being compiled by Dr Gemma Miller who is undertaking a fellowship as part of the union’s partnership with the Scottish Environment, Food and Research Institute (SEFARI).

The fellowship seeks to answer questions about farming and climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and carbon accounting.

“Our whole industry is currently, with massive help from SEFARI, developing the fact-based solutions that will give us the truth about our carbon sequestration and the agricultural industry’s ability to be part of the solution (to climate change),” said Mr Kennedy, who farms near Aberfeldy.

He said it may not be possible to alter calculations on which the greenhouse gas emissions from different industries are calculated, however scientific data to show the farming industry’s positive contribution to the problem could help counter negative messages.

“We can run a twin track approach which relates to the positive contribution agriculture makes, therefore offsetting the emissions we are producing,” said Mr Kennedy.

“COP26 gives us a huge opportunity to highlight how green we already are, and by then we will have much more evidence that proves how green we are.

He added: “Although there’s still more agriculture can do to help, I suspect when the calculations are done we may find that Scottish agriculture is already carbon positive. Now that’s some marketing tool.”

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