Greater certainty and greater urgency on climate change

Published 12 August 2021

Climate change and renewables Environment Net zero
climate change_73341

Humanity’s damaging impact on the climate is now a “statement of fact”, according to the latest international physical science report on climate change. Find out more and read our NFU briefing.

Released on 9 August, the first part of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report is a “code red for humanity”, in the words of António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, which must “sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels”. However, there is still a small window of opportunity to slow or even reverse climate change if urgent action is taken to reduce emissions and capture carbon. As well as cutting CO2 emissions, strong, rapid and sustained reductions in methane and other non-CO2 GHG emissions are also recommended to limit global warming.

This is the first of several IPCC assessment chapters expected over the coming months in the run-up to COP26 and beyond, and the first major review of the science of climate change since 2013. The last IPCC review was instrumental in paving the way for the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, and the even stronger scientific advice contained in this update may be a game-changer for the climate negotiations in Glasgow this November.

NFU comment

The IPCC is clear that climate change is widespread, rapid and intensifying, so we must consider the impact this is having on food production, in the UK and worldwide.

We note that farming is not singled out by the IPCC as a source of emissions, but rather that this is a cross-sector challenge to industries and governments worldwide.

Policies such as the UK’s integrated water management strategy and our own NFU net zero ambition are important responses – so that we can better manage extreme weather events, lessen their impacts on farms and deliver a secure supply of quality, climate-friendly food.

For more information

Download our member-only NFU briefing: Greater certainty and greater urgency on climate change – the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report.

Ask us a question about this page

Once you have submitted your query our NFU CallFirst team will contact you and, if appropriate, your question will be passed on to one of our policy teams.

By completing the form with your details on this page, you are agreeing to have this information sent to the NFU for the purposes of contacting you regarding your enquiry. Please take time to read the NFU’s Privacy Policy if you require further information.