The public and private sectors are being urged to adopt a ‘net zero plus’ with action to reduce emissions, while adapting to the impacts of climate warming including more extreme weather and rising sea levels.
Sir James Bevan, Environment Agency Chief Executive, made the comments earlier this week at the Whitehall and Industry Group's Net Zero Roundtable.
Responding to the speech, CLA President Mark Bridgeman pointed out that members have been involved in peatland restoration, tree planting, increasing on-land biodiversity and wildlife habitats to help the UK Government achieve its net zero target by 2050.
He said: “Our members are committed to helping the UK Government achieve the net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 commitment – and many are already pioneering new land management methods such as peatland restoration to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The UK’s forests store 3.7bn tonnes of carbon so, the more trees we plant, the more carbon we remove from the atmosphere.
“Of course, farmers and land managers want to continue increasing biodiversity on their land, improving wildlife habitats and meeting other environmental targets. And Defra’s new Environmental Land Management Scheme offers a strong platform for this but, with funding not available until 2024, Government needs to come forward with a quicker solution if we are to offset our carbon emissions and reach net zero.”
“We are already starting to see the impacts of climate change across rural communities and it is critical that the government supports actions to combat the increased risk of flooding, drought and severe weather events. The CLA will shortly be publishing a Water Strategy, aiming to demonstrate how government, land managers and the private sector can work together to increase resilience.”
The UK's greenhouse gas emissions are now 51% below 1990 levels meaning that the UK is now halfway to meeting its target of net zero emissions by 2050.
The CLA will shortly be publishing a Water Strategy, aiming to demonstrate how government, land managers and the private sector can work together to increase resilience.