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Stackyard News Nov 06

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    Farmers Can Help Fight Climate Change Says Union

The recently published Stern Report has highlighted the fact that climate change raises a number of challenges for every industry, not least the farming industry. NFUS is stressing that farming has huge potential to contribute to the fight against climate change and to be instrumental in addressing food security concerns at the same time.

oilseed rape

James Withers, NFU Scotland Deputy Chief Executive, said:

“Scottish agriculture is ready and willing to contribute to the fight against climate change and there are a number of ways in which this can be done.

“Renewables projects with an agricultural component have enormous potential and must be supported. These range from biomass plants which process woody material, animal carcass waste processing for electricity and biodiesel production, the manufacture of crop derived roadfuels and methane recovery and use from digested slurry.

“Scottish producers should be preferred suppliers of food and fuel so as to maintain productive capacity in case climate change or other effects elsewhere in the world threaten food and fuel imports into the UK. This would also help mitigation of climate change pressures by reducing food-miles and fuel-miles. In many cases, fossil fuels are burnt needlessly to import products we are perfectly placed to produce in this country.

“However, increased ‘green taxes’ aimed at the agricultural industry are not the answer. Increasing taxes on 4 x 4 vehicles for example will hit completely the wrong target. For the farming industry 4 x 4 vehicles are a necessity not a luxury. Blunt economic instruments have always been successful in raising revenue for Treasury but not in delivering meaningful environmental benefits.

“It’s not what farmers drive that’s important, but their ability to ensure driving is much more environmentally-friendly. Far better that effort is put into assisting them to produce green fuels than imposing green taxes upon them. We need agriculture within the UK to continue in its efforts to ameliorate climate change, but also to provide us with food security when faced with global food shortages.”

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