It is vital that landowners and Government work in partnership to mitigate and manage the effects of climate change. This includes providing the right incentives for landowners to make investment in managing water supplies, maintaining flood defences and ensuring we are doing all we can to protect soil.
The CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and other rural businesses, made these comments in response to the Committee on Climate Change Progress Report published today (30 June).
CLA President Henry Robinson said: “The report identifies the priority issues that we must collaborate to address, including water scarcity, flood risk and the climate resilience of the farmed countryside. The CLA has set out actions that can be taken now to improve mitigation and management of the effects of climate change in these areas.
“On water scarcity we need to fast track planning approval for natural irrigation systems like on-farm reservoirs to reduce demand on the water supply. This has to be done before any radical or damaging changes are made to the rules on how much water farmers can abstract to irrigate their crops.
“On flood risk we have set out detailed proposals for how a system of tax relief can be used to unlock private sector investment in flood defences. We know landowners will to act to defend homes and farmland, so we must find ways to unlock this potential additional investment through tax relief and fast track environment agency and planning approval processes.
“On improving biodiversity and soil quality in agricultural land, we continue to work with Government to ensure that environmental schemes like countryside stewardship are effectively targeted to deliver results. We have some way to go but really strong progress has been made. We must continue to develop these schemes in a collaborative way.
“The CLA is working with the Committee on Climate Change, and will continue to work with colleagues across Europe to set out landowners’ views ahead of the United Nations conference on Climate Change in Paris later this year.”
Today’s report from the Committee on Climate Change can be found here - http://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/reducing-emissions-and-preparing-for-climate-change-2015-progress-report-to-parliament/