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.
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
“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
“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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