British farmers demonstrate climate progress ahead of COP26

29 October 2021

Climate change and renewables

Farmers and growers across the country are demonstrating their progress and commitment towards a net zero future for British food production. Our new report shows how they're playing their part in climate mitigation worldwide.

Farmers and growers are already working towards net zero agriculture in Britain, taking actions such as:

  • Investing in new technologies
  • Reducing energy consumption from fossil fuels
  • Increasing soil health
  • Planting and managing trees, woodland and hedgerows

With greater government support they can accelerate this progress.

Our Journey to net zero: Farming's 2040 goal


In our new report 'Our journey to net zero', farmers including NFU dairy board member Jessica Langton and NFU environment forum member Richard Bramley showcase how they are adapting their businesses to reduce agricultural emissions, capture and store more carbon on farmland and produce more renewable energy, all while providing climate-friendly, nutritious and affordable food for people at home and abroad.

The report, launched on the eve of COP26, comes two years after we first announced our ambition for British agriculture to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. It sets out the further government, industry and supply chain action needed to aid farming’s transition to net zero.

The role of farmers in tackling climate change

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NFU President Minette Batters, pictured above, said:

“Food is one of the most important aspects of the climate discussion and as an industry we have a huge part to play in tackling the climate crisis. That is why two years ago I set a target for the British farming industry to become net zero by 2040.

“We have always known this would not be an easy task and that government support would be crucial, but it has been incredible to see the innovative and diverse range of measures farmers have employed to make their businesses more sustainable, all while continuing to produce the nation’s food."

Still a long way to go

“However, we still have a long way to go if we are to realise our net zero aspiration. The commitment is there – what we now need is a portfolio of policies to support widespread action, whether it’s upgrading rural infrastructure to boost productivity, the further development of farm-level greenhouse gas calculators or investment in methods to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

“It’s also vital that the government’s agenda works in harmony with its domestic and trade policies. Reducing our impact on the climate should not mean reducing our capacity to feed the country with high quality, affordable home-grown food – food we know the British public want to see more of on shop shelves.

“In Britain we have a clear ambition to build on our reputation as world leaders in climate-friendly food production, and to back it up with meaningful action. This makes it even more pressing for the government to get behind British farming rather than becoming more reliant on other countries for our food.”

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