Land use: Policies for a Net Zero UK

Land use: Policies for a Net Zero UK

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1. Outline

This report presents the CCC’s first ever in-depth advice on UK agricultural and land use policies. The report assesses the way we use our land today and the changes required in how we farm and use land in order to deliver the UK Government’s Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050.

2. Key findings

Net Zero requires a transformation in land use across the UK. The report sets out a detailed range of options to drive emissions reductions in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  • Increase tree planting – increasing UK forestry cover from 13% to at least 17% by 2050 by planting around 30,000 hectares (90 – 120 million trees) of broadleaf and conifer woodland each year.
  • Encourage low-carbon farming practices – such as ‘controlled-release’ fertilisers, improving livestock health and slurry acidification.
  • Restore peatlands – restoring at least 50% of upland peat and 25% of lowland peat.
  • Encourage bioenergy crops – expand the planting of UK energy crops to around 23,000 hectares each year.
  • Reduce food waste and consumption of the most carbon-intensive foods – reduce the 13.6 million tonnes of food waste produced annually by 20% and the consumption of beef, lamb and dairy by at least 20% per person, well within current healthy eating guidelines.

3. Supporting research and data

We considered an extensive evidence base for this report. Relevant publications and outputs are included below:

4. Infographic