UK's Net Zero Growth Plan: Land and Natural Resources

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Introduction: Achieving net zero emissions requires a holistic approach that not only addresses carbon reduction but also maximizes co-benefits for climate and nature. This policy brief outlines key strategies and progress made towards decarbonizing land use sectors, enhancing natural resource management, and promoting economic growth while supporting biodiversity, water quality, and climate adaptation.

Key Strategies

  • Decarbonizing Land Use Sectors: Implement measures to decarbonize agriculture, forestry, and other land use sectors. Support farmers and land managers through environmental land management schemes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing multiple public goods.
  • Sustainable Management of Natural Resources: Accelerate efforts to sustainably manage natural resources and ecosystems. Develop frameworks for multifunctional landscapes that prioritize net zero, biodiversity, and environmental recovery, ensuring resilience to climate change.
  • Investment in Nature-Based Solutions: Establish a pipeline of investable nature-based solutions projects to monetize the benefits of nature. Mobilize private finance into nature's recovery through initiatives like the Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund and the Green Finance Strategy, aiming to surpass £1 billion per year by 2030.
  • Reduction of Waste and F-Gas Emissions: Drive forward action to reduce emissions from waste and F-gases. Implement collection and packaging reforms, near-elimination of biodegradable waste sent to landfill by 2028, and consult on amending existing F-gas legislation to further reduce emissions.

Progress and Delivery: Significant progress has been made across various areas, including the publication of environmental improvement plans, updates on environmental land management schemes, and acceleration of sustainable farming incentives. Initiatives such as the Paludiculture Exploration Fund and the Nature for Climate Fund demonstrate commitment to peatland restoration and woodland creation.

Upcoming Delivery Milestones: Future milestones include the full rollout of environmental land management schemes, publication of a Land Use Framework for England, and the development of methodologies for voluntary food ecolabeling. Additionally, plans to achieve near elimination of biodegradable municipal waste and expand the UK Emissions Trading Scheme highlight ongoing efforts to reduce waste and emissions.