No need to cut beef to tackle climate crisis, say farmers
NFU says growing fuel for power stations and capturing CO2 can slash emissionsFarming can become climate neutral by 2040 without cutting beef production or converting substantial areas of farmland into forest, according to a plan published by the National Farmers’ Union. Instead, the NFU says three-quarters of the UK’s agricultural emissions can be offset by growing fuel for power stations and then capturing and burying the carbon dioxide, which could lead to energy plants becoming the nation’s biggest crop after wheat. Increasing the carbon stored in soils and using technology to reduce the emissions caused by cattle and fertiliser use are also needed, the NFU says. Agriculture causes about 10% of the UK’s climate-heating emissions; 90% is methane from livestock and nitrous oxide from fields. The UK is committed to ending net emissions by 2050, but sectors such as farming and aviation are the biggest challenges. Minette Batters, the president of the NFU, said making the sector climate neutral would be tough but an ambitious plan was necessary or society would not forgive farmers. She said farmers understood better than most that climate change was the biggest challenge of our time. “We are seeing far more extreme weather events and we are impacted more than anyone else because our offices are outside,” she said. “Last year was a frightening year on our farm. Our spring barley died in front of us” because of a lack of water. A series of recent scientific studies have concluded that consumers in rich nations need to drastically cut red meat consumption in order to tackle the climate crisis and destruction of wildlife. But the NFU argues that UK beef production does not rely on high-intensity farming or turning forests into pasture, and is only 40% as emission-intensive as the global beef production average. “We don’t plan to make any cuts,” Batters said. “We think we can do it without changing levels of production.” People are increasingly choosing to eat less meat and Batters said: “Everybody’s diet is up to individuals to choose, but there are other parts of the world that are hungry for high-quality meat.” The NFU plan envisages half of farming’s emissions being offset by growing willow, miscanthus grass and other energy crops to use in bioenergy with carbon capture and storage power plants. The technology is only at the pilot stage but the scale required by the NFU plan is consistent with projections for 2050 from the Committee on Climate Change, the government’s official advisers. The NFU plans also call for a doubling of wind, solar and biomethane energy on farms. Storing more carbon in soils, peatlands, woodlands and hedgerows offsets another fifth of agricultural emissions. Only 1.5% of the total comes from new tree planting – less than the CCC has recommended – but the NFU sees its figure as the maximum realistically possible. A quarter of farming’s emissions can be cut by raising animals and growing crops more efficiently, according to the NFU. Its plans highlight feed additives to cut methane in animals, gene editing to improve crops and livestock, and controlled-release fertilisers. “It is very welcome that the NFU is setting ambitious targets,” said Sue Pritchard, the director of the RSA’s food, farming and countryside commission, which concluded in July that farming must be radically transformed within 10 years to end environmental destruction. “Many farmers are already doing what they can – the growth of the pasture fed livestock movement is a case in point.” The Friends of the Earth campaigner Guy Shrubsole said: “Eating less but better meat is a crucial part of the fight against climate breakdown, yet astonishingly there is no mention of this in the NFU’s report. Doing so would free up much more land for trees and agroforestry, which would absorb huge quantities of carbon from the atmosphere. “It seems the NFU is still not prepared to contemplate significant land use change in Britain, despite the CCC recommending this as being vital,” he said, noting that some progressive farmers are starting to pioneer a new approach to managing the land. Some environmental groups have called for a quarter of the UK to be returned to nature through rewilding to tackle the climate crisis and the loss of wildlife. Batters said: “All farms have wild areas on them. It shouldn’t be a binary debate of rewilding versus production.” Farmers are extremely worried about a possible no-deal Brexit and the UK being flooded with cheap, lower-standard food, and Batters said achieving climate neutrality would be extremely hard in that scenario. The NFU report does not assess whether payments to farms – currently £3bn a year under the EU subsidy regime – would need to rise or fall in order to make agriculture climate neutral. Batters said it was vital for the government to introduce the right policies so farmers were given incentives to deal with emissions, and have long-term funding in place. Topics Read more: The Guardian
Laughable. Yes sir..of course They are correct ...50% of the greenhouse gases come from fossil fuel energy. Renewables including nukes could fix. Cocaine isn’t addictive or bad for you, say Columbian drug dealers... Visions of farmer Giles chewing on an ear of corn whilst inspersing his comments with mad rants at imaginary crows spring to mind
All the people being angered by this, just think, if the population increases at the rate it is at the moment, we will need to eat rocks to get control of the climate. Increase in population = increase in resources = increase pollution. Very few wishing to tackle that barb. Is it wise to buy chemical beef out of Unilever plants instead of buying animal production from farmers ? What's next ? Plants to produce chemical bananas, tomatoes, fish ?
Climate change is not an industry problem, it is a people problem. We have to change, when we do, industry will change to cater to our needs. Well they would say that, wouldn't they? Livestock represents 14.5% of all anthropogenic GHG emissions, or about the same as total US emissions 'No need to give up smoking, says the tobacco industry'.
UK not 'recession ready', think tank warnsInterest rate cuts and quantitative easing would only provide quarter of support needed, report says Which is strange considering we're still waiting for the recession from the day after the Brexit vote... Remainer 'think tanks.' Fearmongering.
Well. No offence to the farmers. But they would say that, wouldn't they. What climate crisis? No need to cut cigarette smoking, say tobacco companies. I'd rather listen to climate change experts, why aren't you? 'No need to curb oil use to tackle climate change, say oil suppliers.' Weird...the oil and gas people say the same thing about oil and gas.
Let us not forget, cleaning up the environment is an apology from all of us to Mother Nature, God's gift. You don't half ass an apology. GlobalWarming ClimateChange climatestrike ClimateCrisis Keep your beefcake while eating it. Breed more unicorns to capture CO2. Digging for victory. VeraWag08059960 Of course they would say that
Just graze cattle properly that sorts out any emissions
Australian natural disasters minister David Littleproud: 'I don't know if climate change is manmade'Minister tells Guardian he is unsure of causes of crisis, saying he wants farmers to have tools to adapt to change Because climate itself is manmade🙄 🤨 Doh!
i feel like this is definitely the sort of thing farmers would say tho No need to cut coal use to tackle climate crisis, say mining companies They're hardly going to say anything different. 🙄 But it would help!! Of course farming associations come up with other solutions to protect their interests- these could be employed in addition to the reduction in meat consumption- we need ALL the help we can get to tackle the climate crisis!
People who sell beef say we should buy beef. I believe clams are more of a problem than cattle They would say that wouldn't they.
World 'gravely' unprepared for effects of climate crisis – reportTrillions of dollars needed to avoid ‘climate apartheid’ but this is less than cost of inaction Hyperbole much? Tô vendo que o mundo vai se acabar e não me avisaram ainda.😂😂😂😂😂 Nothing like promoting hysteria
This supermarket is testing a new technology that keeps fruit fresh three times longerNew coating could also cut the need for pesticides post-harvest ....a...freezer?doh what are they gonna do now, varnish it? That’s fucked. How about selling fruits that aren’t perfect?
Is Billie Eilish a devil worshipper? Hell, noThe video for the pop star’s new single has outraged many Christians. But it’s no sin to sing about the climate crisis Excusatio non petita... The counter part would be true sooner. Obviously.
Climate crisis is greatest ever threat to human rights, UN warnsRights chief Michelle Bachelet highlights climate’s role in civil wars, saying: ‘The world has never seen a threat to human rights of this scope’ Give it a fukin rest. Science Threats to human life invariably turn to threats to human rights as the few struggle to survive at the expense of the many. And abortion is their solution. There have already been 1.5 billion babies murdered. But that's not near enough!