‘Climate change is to challenge the future of farming’

02 December 2013

The CLA today (22 November) welcomed a report by the Royal Bank of Scotland that identified climate change as a threat to farm businesses.

The Association said the report is right to highlight farmers' concerns over the  threat of drought, extreme temperatures and extended seasons to their businesses.

CLA President Henry Robinson said: "We are pleased to see this report is calling for more money to be made available by banks for investment in measures to enhance nature and improve farm resilience.

"More frequent and unpredictable weather in recent years, such as flooding and heat, has left landowners and farmers with no choice but to prepare for the threat of challenging conditions.

"Various measures are already being added to farm business models such as building on-farm reservoirs, growing different crops, preserving peatland, planting trees and biodiversity offsetting.

"With public funding for the management of the natural environment diminishing, it is vital we find new ways to pay for this service if we are to sustain and enhance our surroundings."

The CLA said it has been lobbying for market-based solutions to environmental issues since 2009 when it released the report "Private Solutions to Public Problems".

The CLA President added: "Like any other asset, the natural environment needs investment to maintain its quality.

"We are pleased Defra is seriously looking to develop a system of biodiversity offsetting to protect the natural environment while supporting rural economic development. This is a step in the right directio