Crucial role of agricultural and land-based sector in tackling climate change – 2 December 2008

Agricultural sector’s crucial role in contributing to emission reductions…..

The Chairs of the CCC and Rural Climate Change Forum (RCCF) today highlighted the significant abatement potential that exists in the agriculture and land-based sector. The UK agricultural sector contributes 7% of the UK’s total greenhouse emissions, and is a particularly significant contributor to non-carbon dioxide emissions, particularly nitrous oxide and methane. The CCC’s report, Building a low-carbon economy, published yesterday makes clear the important contribution that the sector could make towards helping the UK achieve its proposed targets in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The report suggests a technical GHG reduction potential for the agriculture sector of 13 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) per year by 2020 (of the 44 MtCO2e current emissions), at a cost up to £40/tCO2e.

Lord Adair Turner, Chair of the CCC said:

“Our analysis suggests  that there is a significant potential from the agriculture sector that could help the UK achieve its carbon budgets.  I recommend that Government focuses on developing a policy framework for reducing emissions from the agriculture sector”.

Dr John Gilliland OBE, Chair of the RCCF said:

“It will be important to develop the future policy framework so that the sector can play an appropriate role in helping to deliver against this wider UK target.  The Forum are particularly looking forward to working with the CCC and DEFRA to organise an experts  workshop in February to discuss future climate change mitigation policy instruments for the sector”.