Farming leaders are gearing up to promote Scottish agriculture as part of the climate change solution next year – and not the scapegoat.
Aberfeldy hill farmer and NFU Scotland vice-president Martin Kennedy says the issue has become a top priority for the industry, which is now working with scientists to develop fact-based evidence on its role in carbon sequestration.
The union has set itself a target of the United Nations climate change summit, COP26, in Glasgow at the end of 2020, where it plans to showcase the industry’s green credentials.
“By then we will have much more fact-based evidence that proves how green we are,” said Mr Kennedy.
“Although there’s still more agriculture can do to help, I suspect that when all the calculations are done, we may find that Scottish agriculture is already carbon positive.
“Now that’s some marketing tool!”
Scotland already has legislation in place to achieve challenging reductions in emissions, and NFUS wants all farmers to make a positive contribution to these goals.
However, the union has called for any future mitigations and policies to be supported by scientific evidence, with due consideration of the impacts on the long-term sustainability of farming and food production.
The union has appointed a climate change policy manager and developed a partnership with the Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes, and research has already begun into key questions that the industry wants answered on agriculture and climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and carbon accounting.