Tuesday, 20th August 2013
UK: Agricultural Statistics and Climate Change
Source: Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (UK) via Inside Government
From the Introduction:
In line with the requirements set out in the Climate Change Act 2008 and as part of international obligations, the UK Government is committed to adopting policies that will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the economy by at least 80%, from 1990 levels, by 2050. Agriculture will need to play its part in this reduction, but is more complex than other sectors in that action to reduce GHG emissions has to be considered in the context of long-term policy debates around food security, land use and natural resources. A decline in agricultural activity in the UK may well lead to a decline in domestic GHG emissions (and vice versa), but such activity is also driven by a complex interaction of subsidies, regulation, and international markets, as well as by producer, retailer and consumer preferences. As in other sectors, it would not make sense to drive down emissions from UK agriculture by relying more on the import of products that are at least as GHG intensive: this would effectively export the emission effect of food consumption, causing “carbon leakage”.
However, there are measures that farmers can adopt now that would drive down GHG emissions at minimal or no extra cost and indeed would also be positive from a farm business case. The Government believes that it is right for the agricultural industry to take responsibility for reducing its emissions and, rather than resort to regulation, has encouraged an industry partnership to lead in tackling the challenge. The Agriculture Industry GHG Action Plan: Framework for Action (published in February 2010) outlined how reductions could be made through more resource efficiency, generally involving changes in farming practice which are also good in terms of business operations whether through more efficient use of fertilisers or more efficient animal husbandry.
+ Direct link to document (PDF; 1.8 MB)
By Adrian Janes
Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.
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