NFU Cymru hosts net-zero agriculture workshop

NFU Cymru has outlined Welsh agriculture’s net-zero ambitions during a special workshop for academics and industry stakeholders.

The event was attended by officials and board members of Natural Resources Wales, Welsh Government representatives and academics.

It saw the union underline Welsh farmers’ commitment to reducing emissions from food production and playing a key role in balancing ‘negative emissions’ from the land and strive for net-zero agriculture by 2040.

The session was chaired by NFU Cymru president John Davies, who chairs the NFU Net-Zero Vision Steering Group.

NFU climate change adviser Dr. Ceris Jones and Dr. Michelle Cain of Oxford University, whose core expertise is in air pollution, greenhouse gases and climate science, also addressed attendees. Dr. Cain’s presentation outlined the latest research on measuring methane – an important greenhouse gas.

Speaking after the workshop, NFU Cymru president John Davies said: “Farmers across Wales are united in our wiliness to play our part in building a zero-carbon economy for the UK and NFU climate change adviser Dr. Cerys Jones set out the findings of initial work that has been undertaken to understand the steps needed to achieve our aspiration.

“This will require a focus in key three areas:

  • Improvements in productivity;
  • Carbon capture; and
  • Renewable energy production.

“Achieving such an aspiration will clearly require a combination of policies and practise, collaboration and partnership.

“This workshop also coincided with the latest meeting of our Next Generation Policy Group who have been tasked with helping the union to drive this work forward.

“I was thrilled to be able to hear their views on this important topic and I am confident that the future is safe in the hands of this group of young farming ambassadors and their peers who care deeply about this industry and how we can further lessen its impact on the environment.

“Of course, in order for Welsh agriculture to achieve its net-zero ambitions, we will need the Government and other stakeholders to provide a portfolio of policy measures and practices that allow us to realise our climate change objectives.

Climate change is an issue that affects us all and Welsh farmers are eager to play their part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions without compromising on the sector’s food-producing ability.

“If we are given the correct framework and conditions I know that together we can succeed.”