In its first edition of 2021, Farmers Guardian published a letter from NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts about how farming must lead the way in climate action this year.
The start of a new year is always a time for new ambitions and to set out what we want to improve and achieve over the next 12 months.
This year is going to be hugely important when it comes to the UK’s climate ambition. With the international climate summit, COP26, being held in the UK in November, the government has branded 2021 the ‘Year Of Climate Action’, and farming needs to be leading the charge.
To do that we need to set targets and make plans for how we can, as an industry, work towards net zero agriculture. Contrary to some views well-aired in the media, we can do this without reducing livestock numbers. Many farmers are already on the way, whether through a conscious decision to lower their carbon footprint or a by-product of undertaking business-smart productivity improvements or diversification projects.
Hundreds of farmers have also pledged to adopt net zero measures on their farms, and the NFU’s Pledge Map is a fantastic tool if you’re wondering what measures you can take and how your fellow farmers are approaching the challenge. On my farm I’ve reintroduced sheep with fantastic results, increasing our crop yields by 34%.
While a New Year’s Resolution may not be enough on its own (how many of us actually stick to them all year?) why don’t you begin 2021 by pledging to take action against climate change, not only this year, but every year until we reach our net zero goal.
NFU Deputy President