‘Disturbing complacency’ of Scottish Government over agricultural climate change

The Scottish Government have published their Climate Change Plan. Nourish Scotland believe the Plan doesn’t do enough to tackle greenhouse emissions from farms.

Food and climate change





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By 2032 agriculture will account for 29% of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions, making it the single highest emitting sector above energy and transport. The Climate Change Plan outlines many collaborative approaches for reaching global climate change commitments but, according to Nourish Scotland, has overlooked the huge amount of work that needs to be done in agriculture.

Nourish Scotland, who are part of the Sustain alliance, believe the final Plan has ignored advice from the Climate Change Committee. The Committee recommended moving beyond voluntary measures if the agricultural sector is to play its part in reducing emissions.

The rate of reduction of agricultural emissions is falling at a slower rate than previously. Nourish Scotland give the example of nitrogen fertilizer. Although it is true that its use has declined since 1990 it has in fact increased since 2008 – and the nitrogen surplus (ie the nitrogen not taken up by the crop) which results in high nitrous oxide emissions as well as pollution has also increased.

You can read Nourish Scotland’s full response to the plan here. Sustain campaigns for a food and farming policy which benefits the environment, health, animals and farmers.


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Food and climate change: Sustain has taken a keen interest in the rapidly accumulating evidence about the effect of food and farming on climate change, as scientific evidence emerges that our food system is a very significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Our food and climate change pages record our activities on this critical issue.


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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.