Environmentalists, farmers and scientists are all calling on the Government to put tackling our climate and nature crises at the top of their New Year’s resolutions. The calls come as new YouGov research conducted on behalf of Wildlife and Countryside Link, reveals that the public are challenging the farming sector to do more to tackle climate change and nature’s decline.
The new polling shows that 92% of the public think it is important that farmers focus on tackling the climate and nature crises, but only a fifth (22%) believe that farming has actually reduced its impact in the last five years. More than half (54%) believe the UK farming sector has made either no improvement or has had a more negative impact on climate change in the last five years. To increase public confidence in farming, the sector needs support and certainty from Government through progressive policies and investment. Current government policies offer limited support for wildlife and carbon friendly farming practices, and this needs to change.
Environmental leaders, farming innovators and scientific experts are meeting today and tomorrow (Weds 8 Jan and Thurs 9 Jan) at the Oxford Real Farming Conference to discuss practical solutions to making our farming fit to meet the enormous scale of our nature and climate change challenges.
Richard Benwell, CEO of Wildlife and Countryside Link said: ‘Our climate depends on soil as much as oil. The UK cannot achieve net zero without farmers. Farm emissions are part of the problem, but farms are also part of the solution. Better land management is the key to locking up carbon. Nine out of ten members of the public want farmers to play their part. So, Government must put the policies in place to help farmers become net zero heroes. That means guaranteeing long-term funding for public goods beyond this Parliament. It also means a clear roadmap for agricultural transition, starting in 2021 and ending in 2028 with a system that will be generous in its support for environmental public goods, so that farmers can plan now for a net zero carbon future.’