According to a new WWF UK report, nature-friendly farming could drastically reduce the UK’s carbon emissions. This would be equivalent to taking 900,000.00 cars off the road.
According to the charity, implementing measures such as ditching artificial fertilizer or boosting hedgerows will save more emissions than previously estimated by the Climate Change Committee’s independent advisors.
Nature needs to be brought back to life in the UK, one of the most depleted countries on Earth, from flower-rich meadows to fragile peatlands to seagrass meadows to saltmarshes.
According to WWF’s Land of Plenty report, the main cause of Britain’s widespread loss of nature is the food system.
Over 70% of British land has been used for agriculture. We are responsible for 12% in our territory’s greenhouse gas emissions.
“We know that in order to reach our net zero targets, we must also be able to…” [restore nature]Sky News was told by Katie White from WWF that land, food and agriculture should be a central component of the plan. She said that “they aren’t there” at the moment in the plan.
The report charges Westminster with a “missed chance” in its Net Zero Strategy. It was somewhat hurriedly developed in October to combat emissions from land use and farming.
“This report is trying fill that gap, call on government to come up with that low-carbon and nature-friendly plan to farm, to support farmers to be on frontline of tackling the climate change and the natural crisis,” she stated.
January saw the government unveil part of its post Brexit overhaul of payments to landowners. The plans were to protect up to 2.3% England, though commentators cautioned that greater protection was required.
It states that all UK governments must immediately implement decarbonisation strategies in the farming and land use sector if the UK is going to meet crucial climate targets. This calls for incentives to help preserve and restore critical habitats, and to accelerate diet-change.
It also states that the sector’s international footprint should be addressed by reducing the demand for animal feed, particularly soy, and eliminating supply chains of deforestation.
Farmers who are ‘acutely affected’
WWF calls for a fair transition for livestock farmers as dietary shifts towards plant-based options accelerate.
Matt Williams, a representative of think tank ECIU said that farmers are “especially vulnerable” to extreme weather conditions that affect harvests and are also “acutely affected by rising fossil fuel costs, driving up the cost for energy and fertilisers.
“If the UK is going to meet its net zero ambitions while maintaining its international climate reputation, then making farming climate friendly and restoring the UK’s natural carbon sponges will have to be treated with the same urgency that cutting emissions from energy and transport,” he stated.
A spokesperson for England’s environment department stated that they had already “already established ambitious plans” in order to reward farmers who take environmentally responsible actions.[support]Sustainable food production and vital nature recovery are key components of net zero.
More than 3,000 farmers have already started to test the plans. Defra claims that the plans will reduce greenhouse gas emission, halt the decline of species, increase woodland, improve air quality, and create more natural space.
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