Agriculture is in a good position to meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets of three million tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2020.
The news comes as the government publishes its analysis of the effectiveness of its current approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from English agriculture.
Defra’s 2012 assessment of the industry’s Greenhouse Gas Action Plan (GHGAP) “welcomes the progress made so far by the Industry Partnership” and considers it “realistic” that agriculture can meet its three million-tonne emissions reduction target by 2020 if the industry continues with the same effort and focus.
This suggests that the government currently prefers an industry-led voluntary approach to the alternative prospect of regulatory measures, at least until its next review of progress in 2016.
In their first report to government, published in April this year, the GHGAP partners, highlighted their work aimed at delivering greater consistency and clarity of messaging.
NFU climate change adviser Dr Ceris Jones said: “We are enhancing the way that important messages, technical advice and information are delivered to farmers and growers.
"In particular, we are creating a reliable up-to-date electronic library to support farm advisers in their daily work in the form of an innovative pilot Farm Efficiency Hub. This will also be openly available to farmers and land managers."
However, Defra’s analysis of the GHGAP also suggests there is limited scope for further GHG reductions in the 2020s based on knowledge currently available. The GHGAP is leading on dialogue with the government, the Committee on Climate Change and other stakeholders to consider the longer term options to reduce GHG emissions.
The GHGAP partners recognise that this will not be a short journey but we have set off at a good pace and are travelling in the right direction, said Ceris Jones.
The Defra 2012 review is available online.