Climate Change Committee report on land use

The Climate change Committee which provides the government with independent advice on building a low-carbon economy and preparing for climate change released two key reports today which will have major implications for food and farming - on land use and on biofuels.

ecosystem services from land use - CCC report

ecosystem services from land use - CCC report

‘Land use: Reducing emissions and preparing for climate change’ finds that fundamental reform is required to ensure land becomes a more effective carbon store. The critical services we receive from the land; clean water, healthy soils, wildlife, timber and food, are threatened by a warming climate. Government can address these concerns, while ensuring sufficient food production for an increasing population and space for new homes.

‘Biomass in a low-carbon economy’ considers the role of biomass – wood, plants and organic waste – in the global strategy to tackle climate change. Biomass can play an important role in meeting the UK’s long-term (2050) emissions targets, and moving towards net-zero emissions, but only with stricter governance to ensure sustainable supplies. Current UK energy uses will need to change.

Sustain welcomes this work. Vicki Hird, farm campaign Coordinator says 

"Tackling climate change is vital to ensure safe, sustainable and equitable food supplies and land is a key and often neglected source of emissions. The opportunities presented by the new Agriculture Bill must be taken to deliver on some of the Committees proposals so that farmers can be supported in a transition to a lower carbon farming future in an integrated and careful way. We also need to ensure future trade deals do not undermine these measures by increasing imports of high carbon foods. 

Sustain is keen to ensure that sustainability issues as a whole are integrated into land use, farming and food policy, to ensure that the new public and policy attention on carbon does not result in inadvertent damage to the environment, or health, or in adoption of unethical practices - such as increasing use of lower animal welfare systems - in the pursuit of 'efficient farming'."

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