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    CLA Says Keep CALM Over Climate Change
08/01/08

If businesses are going to develop they have to understand their accounts – and in the near future that will mean carbon accounts as well as financial accounts - that was the message from the CLA, the rural economy experts, at last week's Oxford Farming Conference.

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CLA Policy Director, Prof Allan Buckwell, told a packed fringe meeting at the conference that over time farmers and land managers had learned to manage profit and loss accounts and then nutrient accounts - now they would have to learn carbon accounting as part of all future business management.

Speaking at the launch of a new software package – Carbon Accounting for Land Managers (CALM) – Prof. Buckwell said that the industry had to demonstrate that it was being responsive to the challenge of climate change.

"We have to be able to measure exactly what levels of Green House Gas we are storing before any realistic options of carbon trading can be developed – and we have to be able to do that with a system which meets agreed international criteria but which can be applied to individual farm businesses," he said.

The CALM calculator has been developed by the CLA in conjunction with Savills and supported by the East of England Development Agency, and the Crown Estates. It is a free, on-line, business-based calculator which shows the balance between annual emissions and carbon sequestration of the key greenhouse gases associated with the activities of the land sector.

Prof. Buckwell said it was important to understand that it was a business - not a product -based calculator. The software is currently undergoing rigorous trials which, when complete, will offer a publicly available, on-line, business-based calculator of annual flows of GHG, emissions and carbon sequestration from a defined land-based business.

CALM follows the widely used and internationally agreed IPCC methodology with the accounting guidelines approved by Government for business to understand, quantify and manage GHG emissions.

"The science is complex and developing quickly, the beauty of this software is that it can be easily adapted and progress with the science. It is highly adaptable and extendable and is the most sophisticated land-based business calculator developed. Our aim is not, however, to be at the forefront of science but to be at the highest level of agreed government methodology to enable our members to be at the forefront of carbon trading," he said.

Environment Minister, The Rt. Hon Hilary Benn MP, congratulated the CLA and Savills on the development of the calculator and said that it was an essential tool which would enable people to do the accounting.

CLA President Henry Aubrey-Fletcher told the meeting that CALM was an attractive, easy to use, highly sophisticated calculator which produced a robust result but which was capable of accommodating the inevitable developments in the new art of GHG accounting. It was, he said, a further demonstration of the commitment that the land-based sector had to adapting to climate change.

link Farmers Understand the Carbon Footprint Science
link Southern England Set to Experience Double Average Temperature Increase
link Telecom Operators Sharing Sites - Land and Property Owners Beware

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