Net Zero review – NFU responds to call for evidence

First published: 27 October 2022

Richard Findlay, NFU Livestock Board chair at his farm in North Yorkshire. Richard with clover flowers as part of his net zero initiatives

The BEIS Secretary of State is calling for feedback across a wide range of sectors as part of an independent review of the government's Net Zero Strategy. The NFU is responding to the call for evidence by asking members to tell us about their experiences around the transition to net zero. 

27 October 2022

NFU responds to Net Zero review call for evidence

We welcome the opportunity to provide evidence on the government’s approach to delivery of its net zero target, as part of an Independent Review of Net Zero.


The NFU wants to lead the world in the production of climate friendly food and play our part in a zero-carbon economy.

We are committed to reducing agricultural and land-based emissions, and we have a special role in creating ‘negative emissions’ since most of these pathways begin with the plants that we grow capturing carbon from the air.

In this response we briefly set out our views on what is required to deliver our challenging, but achievable, net zero ambition at pace and scale.

Our response specifically covers a selection of questions from the call for evidence:

What growth benefits/opportunities have you had, or do you envisage having, from the net zero transition?

We highlight the need for net zero to be given priority within Defra's ATP (Agricultural Transition Plan).

We envisage greater energy independence within rural communities, driving energy self-sufficiency for farm businesses' electricity supply. 

What barriers do you face in decarbonising your business and its operations?

To achieve decarbonisation, it is essential that the government's domestic agricultural policy supports this journey in the medium and long term.

Our response emphasises the need for farmers to have certainty, especially on support from the Energy Bill Relief Scheme beyond March 2023 and for nitrogen fertiliser suppliers to publish prices to give businesses time to plan. 

What challenges has the net zero transition presented to your business? 

We've always argued that, as well as schemes and volatility provisions, the government needs to deliver regulatory reform, an immigration policy that provides an accessible workforce, free trade agreements that respect UK production standards and a fair deal in the supply chain. 

What more could be done to support your business and/or sector to decarbonise?

As well as upgraded infrastructure in rural areas, we also call for; an accommodating planning system for agricultural buildings, safeguards to ensure nature-based projects work alongside domestic production of food, energy, and fibre, and exploration around alternatives to inorganic nitrogen fertiliser supplies.

NFU members can read our response in full. Download: NFU response to Net Zero Review call for evidence

27 October 2022

Consultation closes

This consultation closed on 27 October.

29 September 2022

Government opens consultation

The BEIS Secretary of State has commissioned a review to ensure that the UK is delivering its net zero target in a way that is pro-business and pro-growth and does not place unnecessary burdens on businesses or consumers.

The consultation asks:

  • Questions on both the challenges posed by net zero, as well as the opportunities to aid the transition to and what potential this gives to the future of British exports
  • What more the government can do to support businesses.
  • How to maintain the balance between delivering energy security while achieving net zero.
  • Questions aimed specifically at businesses about the benefits and barriers, what more support is required, what role they could play in generating more renewables, and how many jobs might be created.

Read more on the details for the independent review into Net Zero.

The NFU wants to hear from you

We want to hear your experiences of how you've found the transition to net zero. 

You can send your views to us by 19 October via email: [email protected]

You can also choose to send your own views directly as the government is seeking a broad range of feedback across the public and SMEs.

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  • 29 September 2022: Chris Skidmore MP invites evidence on the government’s approach to delivering net zero as part of an independent review.
  • 19 October 2022: Deadline for NFU call for evidence from members to submit as part of an overall response.
  • 27 October 2022: NFU submits response highlighting what is needed to deliver on net zero ambitions.