Accounting for Carbon

13 March 2020

Carbon accounting event

A seminar held by the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has provided practical advice on how land managers can start measuring and reducing on-farm carbon emissions.


The UK has become the first major economy in the world to put a climate change target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 into legislation. The event highlighted how there is now an opportunity for the agriculture industry to demonstrate that it can be part of the solution, producing high-quality food while reducing emissions and taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.


The seminar explained the basics of on-farm carbon accounting, recommended a number of calculating tools available for land managers and provided guidance on how to interpret the results. It also looked at how different management practices can help reduce emissions for a variety of farm systems.


CLA Climate Change Adviser Alice Ritchie who is shaping CLA climate change policy and is a qualified barrister and solicitor specialising in environmental law, presented at the event and said: “I think it’s really important with climate change rapidly moving up the government’s agenda and across public consciousness that we show that farmers really are part of the solution.


“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it, so it’s important that farmers start looking at their carbon account and consider how they could reduce their emissions. They should also be thinking about areas of their land where they could start sequestering carbon as it can make a massive difference overall.


“We want to help famers and land managers to build an evidence base to show all the great work they are doing and demonstrate why they are such a vital asset in tackling climate change.”


The event was held in Grange Farm Leisure near Peterborough and was attended by landowners and farmers from across the East of England.


CLA Suffolk Chairman Ben Crossman, who is the estate manager at Orwell Park Estates, was at the seminar and said: “Carbon accounting is a very important part of what we are looking at in the future and when you mix that up with the natural capital services we’ve got to provide as farmers and landowners going forward, it is something we are all going to have to consider.”


Heather Webb, an Environmental Consultant for Promar International, presented on 'Rising to the Net-Zero Challenge' and explained how calculating a farms emissions profile can be used to target solutions, identify opportunities and measure progress. She added: The key message is that net-zero is on everybody’s agenda and it’s really important that agriculture looks to transition to low carbon practices.


“Carbon accounting is an essential tool that farmers can use to implement changes on their farms.”