NFU Scotland has welcomed the publication of an interim report that maps out a ‘transformation pathway’ for Scottish agriculture to meet the challenge of limiting global warming to 1.5°.

The report from the independent inquiry, Farming for 1.5°, recognises that farming uniquely has the opportunity to not just improve its own performance by reducing emissions from agricultural activity, but to impact positively on wider societal emissions through good soil and land management, by locking up carbon in trees and soil, and by supporting ecosystems.

It states that without the engagement of the agricultural community, with its ability to absorb emissions and not just cut them, it will be impossible for Scotland to deliver against its targets.

NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick said:

NFU Scotland was instrumental in setting up the Farming for 1.5° independent inquiry, and we welcome its report which is underpinned by science and supported by a huge range of practical knowledge and expertise.

“I would like to thank all panel members, drawn from scientific, environmental, food and farming communities and including several members of NFU Scotland.

“Their work over the past 18 months has mapped out a pathway for transformation in the industry and the Scottish government support needed to drive that transformation.”

‘The report sets out principles needed’

McCornick continued:

“The report sets out principles that all sectors of Scottish agriculture need to adopt. NFU Scotland agrees that we need to improve agricultural and carbon efficiency, better manage our soils, and develop a new approach to sharing knowledge and technical support.

“What this report makes most clear is that we all need to act immediately to tackle the climate emergency.

The Scottish government is now well equipped with advice to take action that will support Scottish farmers, crofters, and growers as they contribute to achieving our ambitious national climate change targets and reversing biodiversity loss.

“If Scottish agriculture is to play its part as a solution to climate change, it needs to see a long-term commitment set out by the Scottish government that encompasses all sectors across the industry.

“The industry must be supported, guided by policy, and equipped with science-led advice if we are to reduce emissions while continuing to produce high-quality food and drink,” he concluded.