Farmers are determined to reduce the impact the industry has on the environment. This project aims to support their aspirations by developing systems and processes to help them achieve their goal. The National Farmers Union (NFU), for example, has set the ambitious target of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the whole of agriculture in England and Wales by 2040. This will contribute to the UK’s ambition of net zero by 2050. As farmers, we have a special responsibility to protect carbon reserves already in our soils and vegetation. But we must and we can do more.
We know emissions from UK farms presently amount to 45.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent a year about one-tenth of UK GHG emissions. But in stark contrast to the rest of the economy, only 10 per cent of this is CO2. Around 40% is nitrous dioxide (NO2) and 50% is methane (CH4)” Adopting new technology and management systems will have a major part to play in achieving that goal. The farming unions guidance will support CSG in making sure that our areas of research are relevant and are well disseminated to the industry. The NFU and Farmers Union of Wales (FUW) have direct access to the majority of Welsh farmers through their membership.
This project aligns with two of Welsh Governments strategic policies to safeguard the environment, The Clean Air Plan for Wales which sets out its commitment and long-term ambition to improve air quality to deliver healthy air and a healthy Wales, and the Environmental (Wales) Act 2016. These policies will also support farmers in meeting further legislative controls that are currently being drawn up and will be imminently imposed. The opportunity to have alternative proven systems will support the delivery of this plan.