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Stackyard News Feb 08

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    Farmers Understand the Carbon Footprint Science

Farmers have been calculating their carbon footprint using the free on-line calculator at for over 6 months now and the feed back is deafening.

C-Plan - The Carbon Footprinting Calculator

They are pleased with the simple, clear format adopted by CPLAN which has allowed them to understand the current IPCC methodology for calculating greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and so enter the policy debate. Drew Coulter of CPLAN explained “We use the internationally accepted standard methodology (IPCC) to calculate emissions from agricultural land which has been agreed by over 250 scientists globally. While this methodology is robust and scientifically sound at the international level working with farmers, academic and policy makers has led us to the conclusion that we need a more detailed approach for farm gate analysis”.

In terms of agriculture IPCC only accept that trees and soil can lock up carbon. Internationally this simplification may be justified but at the national scale, where policy is developed, it is causing a major headache. “DEFRA officials have told me that they understand concern of farmers, which are currently not credited with the carbon they sequestrate in their crops and livestock, but at the moment they do not have agreed methodology to address this problem” Jan Coulter commented.

CPLAN have calculated, using farm data sourced in a joint SAOS/Carbon Trust project, that a 330 ha arable farm in Scotland will emit 245 tonnes Ceq but will lock up over 600 tonnes Ceq. “Calculating the emissions in this way allows policymakers to evaluate the true benefits of farming and helps them make balanced decisions between food production and managing greenhouse gas reductions” observed Jan Coulter.

CPLAN are asking all farmers to engage in this debate as policy is only now being developed by government and their appointed advisors. CPLAN believe that farmers will find new and innovative ways of reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases from their land when they understand the emission pathways. Farming is having a have a positive impact on greenhouse gas management rather than the negative spin currently associated with the farming industry.

link Managing Water Naturally Reduces Flooding
link CLA Says Keep CALM Over Climate Change
link Southern England Set to Experience Double Average Temperature Increase

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