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Letter: Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme

1. Outline

This is a letter from Lord Deben, Chair of the Committee on Climate Change and Baroness Brown, Chair of the Adaptation Committee to Victoria Prentis MP about the Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme. This letter provides the Committee’s view on the coverage of climate change mitigation and adaptation in the recent ELM policy discussion document.

2. Key recommendations

The Committee identified four areas which need further development and clarity:

  • ELM must sit within an integrated response to climate change, food provision and the environment. We support the Natural Capital Committee’s (NCC) call for a joined-up Government response to climate change alongside wider environmental objectives.
  • Adaptation underpins every outcome. ELM design should recognise that adaptation is a necessary pre-requisite to meeting the scheme’s other public good outcomes, because they are at risk from climate change.
  • Encouraging private investment. It is critical to encourage private investment alongside ELM funding in order to deliver the scale of transformation in land use and management that is required.
  • Rewarding climate resilience. Actions that reduce vulnerability and exposure to climate change should be rewarded under ELM; how this will happen through the design of the payments under the scheme needs to be clearly set out.

Annex 1 sets out examples of measures to reduce climate risks and achieve the UK’s Net Zero target, which should be recognised under ELM.

Annex 2 to this letter provides a more detailed response to aspects of ELM design.