It’s time to move forward from discussions, to implementing actions at scale to tackle the climate crisis – that’s the message from the NFU to the UK Government as the Prime Minister meets other world leaders at COP28 in Dubai this week.
The UAE presidency aims to ‘rethink, reboot, and refocus’ the climate agenda to get the world back on track, to ‘course-correct’, to limit global warming to 1.5°C (which means halving emissions by 2030).
The NFU has represented British farmers and the wider Farmers’ Constituency at every COP since 2015. We were there when the Paris Accord was agreed. The terms ‘food security’ and ‘food production’ both made it into the final agreement, much to the satisfaction of farmers across the world.
NFU at COP
The NFU is calling on the UK government to urgently implement practical, progressive policies that will support the net zero transition and help British farmers adapt to a changing climate.
This includes policies such as supporting carbon auditing on farms, standardising carbon calculators and investing in water management infrastructure.
NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw said policy commitments must “lead to support for practical action on the ground”.
Referencing the recent flooding which has left many farms in the UK underwater, Tom called for “urgent investment in water management, both to protect farms and homes from flooding and to ensure water for food in times of drought”.
“We need the right government policies in place to help farm businesses invest in a sustainable future."
NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw
“British farmers can and want to be part of the solution. But we need the right government policies in place to help farm businesses invest in a sustainable future,” he added.
As the sole representatives of British agriculture present at COP28, the NFU will be working with the World Farmers’ Organisation and other members of the Farmers’ Constituency to influence the negotiations
NFU climate change adviser Dr Ceris Jones and BAB Senior adviser Jenny Brunton will keep you updated throughout the two weeks on the negotiations.
What are farmers going to say at COP28?
The Farmers’ Constituency continues to focus its efforts on the political process of negotiations. In addition to the Sharm agriculture paper, the Farmers’ Constituency has also published a high-level position paper which calls for:
- recognition of farmers and agriculture’s potential and vulnerability in the GST (Global Stocktake). This is the first GST in the process and so it is important to the UAE presidency and to all governments as it aims to raise climate ambition.
- more and better-quality climate finance and investment for farmers
- global carbon markets to work for and not against farmers
- greater transparency and better understanding of the agriculture sector’s climate impact.
Key dates for farming
Among the large number of official UNFCCC side events is the launch of a Dairy Methane Action Agenda (under the Global Methane Pledge ), discussions on alternative proteins/dietary change, and the launch of the FAO’s 1.5°C roadmap for agri-food systems.
The International and European dairy associations are running an event on ‘How animal-sourced food nourish the world in times of climate change’ on 5 December.
The WFO will be hosting a side event on 6 December on its Climakers’ work to enhance farmers’ contribution to food security and climate action.
On 9 December, there will be another event where the WFO’s carbon market principles, which align with the NFU’s environmental market principles, will be presented.
The UK at COP28
A written Ministerial Statement is promised in advance of COP28 outlining the UK’s priorities for the summit and for the conclusion of the GST.
King Charles will open the World Climate Action Summit at the start of the COP. The Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary, and DESNZ Ministers will also be in Dubai.