UK's Net Zero Growth Plan for farming sector (2023)

UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs| Source Download  |

Introduction: The UK government's Net Zero Growth Plan outlines a comprehensive strategy to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 while fostering economic prosperity. Agriculture presents unique challenges in this mission, given the inherent emissions from activities like animal husbandry and fertilizer use. However, the government is committed to reducing emissions while ensuring thriving farm businesses and food production sustainability.

Policy Measures:

  • Carbon Budget Delivery Plan: The government's Carbon Budget Delivery Plan, introduced alongside the Net Zero Growth Plan, delineates specific measures to decarbonize agriculture. Notably, it acknowledges farmers' efforts in reducing emissions by 12% since 1990 and aims to support further reductions through targeted interventions.
  • Feed Additives: Addressing ruminant livestock emissions, the government aims to mandate the introduction of methane-inhibiting feed additives, expected in the UK market by 2025. This initiative underscores the collaborative role of industry and government in driving uptake within cattle farm systems.
  • Carbon Audits: Recognizing the need for a harmonized approach to carbon audits, Defra intends to support farmers with standardized auditing processes by 2024. Such audits are crucial for demonstrating carbon savings and attracting private finance to complement public funding.
  • Agroforestry: Emphasizing farmers' role in broader land use emissions reduction, the government aims to introduce agroforestry systems on 10% of arable land by 2050. To incentivize adoption, an agroforestry standard will be integrated into the Sustainable Farming Incentive by 2024, providing farmers with financial support.