Reducing Emissions Whilst Increasing Production

UK - National Farmers Union (NFU) President Peter Kendall told a major European workshop how British farmers and growers are working to reduce emissions and mitigate against climate change when it met in Brussels yesterday.
calendar icon 27 October 2010
clock icon 2 minute read
National Farmers Union

Mr Kendall chaired the afternoon session of the event run by EU farming union organisation COPA-COGECA. As Vice President of COPA, Mr Kendall lead the discussion on how EU food production can be increased significantly to meet growing demand while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and benefiting the environment.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Kendall said: “Greenhouse gas emissions from the whole of the agricultural sector, including livestock, have already been reduced by more than 20 per cent between 1990 and 2008. We have seen today that farmers and the other operators within the meat and milk production chain can further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“There are win-win situations to be had but expectations of emissions reductions in agriculture must be realistic. While EU agriculture gradually adapts to climate change we can also improve resource use efficiency in agricultural production. For example, we can store more carbon in vegetation and soils and use bioenergy, and other renewable energy technologies, for self-supply. We can also export energy from the farm by turning farm manures and residues into energy and fertiliser, therefore helping to reduce emissions elsewhere in the economy.

“We are aware that EU farming also has a major production role to fulfil. We need to produce more food to feed nine billion people by 2050. The big question is can we do it? Can we increase our food output sustainably? I believe that a viable agriculture, which focuses on the economic production role of farmers, is the only one way to deliver sustainable environmental benefits and a carbon sequestration process efficiently; especially if research, innovation support, and the different EU policies including the Common Agricultural Policy, provide the right incentives.”

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