Home / Publications / Land use: Reducing emissions and preparing for climate change

Land use: Reducing emissions and preparing for climate change

1. Outline

This report by the Committee on Climate Change assesses the role of land use change in meeting climate change mitigation and adaptation objectives.

The Government needs to address climate change, which threatens the land’s ability to provide critical services including clean water, healthy soils and timber, and ensure sufficient food production for an increasing population and space for new homes.

Overall, the report finds that fundamental reform is required to ensure land becomes a more effective carbon store, whilst early action is needed to maximise the benefits from changing how land is used.

2. Key findings and recommendations

The key findings from the report are:

  • Climate change impacts are already altering the land’s use, while the services provided by the natural environment are being degraded
  • Land is a critical natural resource, but past policies governing the use of UK land have been fragmented and incomplete
  • New land-use policy must promote radically different uses of UK land
  • Alternative uses of land can be economic for farmers and land managers, but Government must provide help for them to transition

The report’s key recommendations are:

  • New land use policy should promote transformational land uses and reward landowners for public goods that deliver climate mitigation and adaptation objectives. New policies should also reflect better the value of the goods and services that land provides
  • Support should be provided to help land managers transition to alternative land uses

6. Infographic

The following infographic shows the key messages from this report. Click on the graphic for a higher resolution image.