The Times publishes NFU response to story on carbon tax

Stuart Roberts

The Times has published a letter from NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts in regard to its New Carbon Taxes outlining some of the key challenges around future carbon pricing policy.


Your article New Carbon Taxes outlines some of the key challenges around future carbon pricing policy.

First and foremost, we should not be penalising businesses which are committed to net zero. British farmers produce some of the most sustainable meat and dairy products in the world – greenhouse gas emissions from UK beef production are less than half the global average and UK milk production is even lower.

A carbon tax will not be effective if it is implemented in the UK alone. Any tax must be internationally recognised, otherwise UK farmers will be put at a competitive disadvantage, outpriced by food imports with a higher carbon footprint.

Future policy must include opportunities for farm businesses to benefit from a carbon price, not just be penalised, otherwise it could result in a reduction of domestic food production at a time when access to sustainable and affordable food is more important than ever.

A tax also doesn’t take into account the carbon that is sequestered and stored on UK farms. As land-based businesses, farmers are better placed than most to deliver greenhouse gas removals, which must also be a key consideration in future government policy.

Stuart Roberts
NFU Deputy President

The NFU's virtual annual conference will take place on Tuesday 23 February with our annual general meeting taking place on Wednesday 24 February.