Annual climate change report welcomed by CLA

25 June 2020

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has published its Reducing UK emissions: 2020 Progress Report to Parliament.

Commenting on the report, CLA President Mark Bridgeman said:

“The CLA is committed to helping the government reach the net-zero target by 2050. Through the Agriculture Bill, Environment Bill, Tree Strategy and Peatland Strategy there is a fantastic opportunity to transform the sector and the way we use our land to reduce emissions and increase sequestration.”

“Uncertainties about Brexit, trade negotiations and Covid-19 disruptions have delayed legislation and the development of policies for agriculture and land use that will support climate action. Farmers and land managers are increasingly looking at what they can do, but until there are clear policies and programmes for woodland creation and woodland management, alongside programmes to help shift the sector to low carbon farming, the progress will be slow.

“Addressing GHG emissions from agriculture and using nature to sequester and store carbon, and providing renewable energy, has many benefits for climate, nature and the economy. But this needs clear and long-term polices, and funding for programmes, that will encourage farmers and landowners to change how they farm and their land use.

“The agriculture and land use sector can deliver climate action which also supports the Covid-19 economic recovery. Opportunities for new jobs in forestry and woodland industry, environmental services and food production, such as when the CLA called for thousands of workers to come forward and help feed the nation to make up a predicted 80,000 shortfall in agriculture labour to work on farms during harvest.”

“Investing in agriculture, forestry and environment presents opportunities for economic growth, but it is vital that this is not undone by trade agreements that do not drive global environmental standards."