Meeting net-zero in Wales: Give farmers and land managers the tools to do the job!

The Welsh Government's published its' Prosperity for All: A Climate Conscious Wales progress report. It can do better to enable Welsh farming and land management deliver much more.
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CLA Cymru responds to the Welsh Government’s report Prosperity for All: A Climate Conscious Wales Progress Report, published this month.

“More must be done to capitalise on the Welsh rural landscape’s capacity to combat climate change,” says CLA Director, Nigel Hollett. “The Welsh Government’s report describes some encouraging progress: genuine reduction in emissions, more commitment and higher awareness in all sectors. The report concedes that climate change adaption isn’t keeping pace with the increasing risks.”

“However the Government is still falling short on delivering the functional system we need to reward growers and land managers for greenhouse gas removal. It must provide better support to manage on-farm nutrient management and for managing trees. We need an effective tree-health strategy to extend the life of existing trees which are large and already carbon-functional, and replace diseased and failing trees. Finally, the Welsh Government must remove obstacles and directly encourage investment in rural renewable energy schemes”

“Most landowners have taken heed of sound advice not to be tempted to sell a potential net-zero asset as industrial emitters have sought to offset their emissions. Many land-based enterprises now understand their emissions impact and their capacity to reduce greenhouse gas creating a surplus.

We need to see progress in the developing Sustainable Farming Scheme that the Welsh Government will harness this powerful asset and reward land managers fairly.

“Farmers are yet to understand what impact the Scheme will have on their businesses. Managed forestry, hedging and field margins and peatlands have a vital role to play, not only in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, but in providing the vital mechanism we need for greenhouse gas removal. Without this we can never meet our net-zero goal."