The newly formed Agriculture and Land Use Alliance (ALA), will host the first-ever 'Countryside COP' event to showcase and inspire net-zero activity within rural communities ahead of the COP26 climate change conference in November. The week-long digital event, taking place between October 11 and 15, 2021, will bring together different people, organisations, science, and knowledge to demonstrate industry achievements in reducing emissions so far, as well as finding potential solutions to maximise the contribution of agriculture and land use to a net-zero economy.

Rural and agri-food organisations are invited to take part and host their own seminars as part of the Countryside COP to tell the story of their successes, challenges, and opportunities for climate mitigation and net-zero action.

Ulster Farmers Union (UFU) president Victor Chestnutt, whose organisation forms part of the group, said: “We are delighted to have joined the Agriculture and Land Use Alliance and to be promoting the Countryside COP, showcasing all that is good about our agri-food industry across the UK.
Climate action is vital and we look forward to highlighting the positive work farmers and the agri-food sector are taking to address this issue.”

The Agriculture & Land Use Alliance

The Agriculture & Land Use Alliance is a new name for the Greenhouse Gas Action Plan (GHGAP). The Alliance brings together all interested organisations and individuals across the UK agricultural industry, to collaborate under one umbrella and speak with one voice, to act now to maximise the contribution of agriculture and land use to a net zero economy. With land use integral to net-zero goals, the Agriculture & Land Use Alliance aims to offer a reasoned, practical voice on the farming of land for all purposes. The alliance includes:
  • UK agricultural research body ADAS;
  • Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA);
  • Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB);
  • Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC);
  • Country Land and Business Association (CLA);
  • Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF);
  • National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB);
  • National Farmers Union (NFU); and
  • Ulster Farmers;’ Union (UFU).
A statement issued on behalf of the newly-formed alliance read: “All of us have a part to play on the road to net-zero, and we are stronger when working together. The Countryside COP is an opportunity for everyone with an interest in the countryside and rural economy to come together and to speak out about the real and tangible outcomes of our journey to net-zero. “The journey to net-zero is complex but there is no shortage of professionalism and knowledge within the rural community, and all who support food and farming.
This is the time to utilise and invest in this expertise so we can help contribute to the government’s net-zero targets, all while continuing to produce fantastic, affordable food for people at home and abroad.
“This is a chance to really showcase the important role of UK agriculture and climate-friendly food production in reaching our national net-zero ambitions, and how we can all contribute to a positive future for our planet.”

Countryside COP

The Countryside COP will also host events that focus on resilience and explore the synergies between adaptation and mitigation. The Countryside COP event team will be collating event outcomes and recommendations for policy-makers, researchers, investors, the supply chain and the whole rural economy. Beyond the digital event, the ALA will drive and sustain the collaboration needed between all parties in food and farming, to turn knowledge and confidence into action. Those interested in hosting a seminar or event as part of the Countryside COP can find out more and submit their event proposal here on the Countryside COP October 2021 website, or by emailing: [email protected].