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Scottish Government urged to support carbon-neutral farming

Farming and environmental groups have written to Scottish Cabinet Secretaries for Climate Change and the Rural Economy, calling on the Scottish Government to use the new Climate Bill to drive a just transition to a carbon-neutral, resilient farming sector by 2050 at the latest.

Food and Farming Policy





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The joint letter states that: “Whilst our farming sector is currently contributing 22.5% of Scotland’s total greenhouse gas emissions, farmers, crofters and landowners are also contributing to carbon sequestration and storage, and efficiency measures are already leading to carbon savings."

"Farming, therefore, has the potential to bring its net greenhouse gas emissions down to zero and become the first carbon-neutral farming sector in the world, while reaping substantial economic benefits. As the Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity has stated, “reducing emissions and improving soil and water quality undoubtedly helps our climate change ambitions, but will also benefit farmers’ bank balances by reducing waste and improving market returns”.

"Carbon-neutral farming systems deliver a range of public benefits such as flood prevention, enhanced biodiversity, clean air and water, and greenhouse gas emission reduction; whilst making farms more resilient to climate impacts, creating employment, increasing farm profitability and supporting rural economies.“

Signatories include Compassion in World Farming, Friends of the Earth Scotland, Glasgow Community Food Network, National Trust for Scotland, NFU Scotland, Nourish Scotland, Scotland the Bread, RSPB, the Scottish Crofting Federation, Soil Association Scotland, Unite the Union, and WWF Scotland. Together, these and other signatories are calling for:

  • Introduction of a nitrogen balance sheet
  • Investment in soils
  • Promotion of productive and profitable carbon-neutral farming
  • Promotion of agroforestry

Download a copy of the letter here.


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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.