Latest News: The Government published the Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) on the 26 January. The CCRA highlights the top 100 challenges a changing climate poses to the UK and its economy, and provides the most compelling evidence yet of the need to increase resilience. The CCRA contains a Sector Report dedicated to Agriculture which can be found here. Further information on the CCRA is available here.
Climate change adaptation and climate change mitigation are two of the subjects to be covered by the new Farming Advice Service. Free expert advice will be provided through events such as farm workshops, farm walks, drop in clinics, newsletters, text messages and a comprehensive helpline where you can speak to experts.
This website will provide:
- A single web portal to the online and helpline advice that is available on climate change adaptation and mitigation, and
- Regularly updated dates, locations and other information on regional and national FAS events featuring climate change.
Climate change is already having an impact on the agriculture sector. Temperatures have risen by about a degree Celsius since the 1970s in central England, with 2006 being the warmest year in record. Growing seasons are also lengthening. It is important that farmers adapt to the changing climate so that their businesses continue to be profitable and resilient, both by seizing the opportunities and dealing with the threats.
Limiting the extent of climate change is also vital and the UK has committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 80% on 1990 levels by 2050. Agriculture can play an important role in reducing its emission. Agriculture accounts for around 9% of total UK GHG emissions.
Farming Futures aims to create a profitable and sustainable agricultural industry driven by innovation, long-term thinking and climate change action. The collaborators use the Farming Futures project to communicate with farmers, land managers and their advisors and influencers to drive on-farm climate change adaptation and mitigation.
The Environment Agency has an online resource dedicated to climate change adaptation across a range of sectors including agriculture which identifies current sources of information that may be helpful to land managers and organisations involved in preparing for the impacts of climate change on the natural environment and so making the industry more resilient.
- View information on adaptation, on the Environment Agency website.
The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has a pivotal role to help make the six commodity sectors they support (pig meat, beef and lamb, commercial horticulture, milk, potatoes, cereals and oilseeds) more competitive and sustainable, including advice and information that can help reduce emissions and adapt to climate change.
The Country Land and Business Asscoiation (CLA) has produced the “carbon footprinting” tool “CALM” which will also provides an estimate of the carbon savings provided from using Environmental Stewardship options.
- View the CALM Calculator, on the CLA website
The National Non-Food Crops Centre (NNFCC) provides information and guidance through its website and offers a technical consultancy service to those considering growing bioenergy crops or installing AD.
The Farm Energy Centre provides advice to farmers on energy efficiency and energy management.
The Rural Development Programme for England’s small grants scheme, administered by Defra, provides assistance to farmers wishing to make changes to farm infrastructure which will help to improve on-farm efficiency. The grants scheme will be run through a limited fund and will be available from autumn 2011.
More information on climate change policy, in relation to agriculture and more generally can be found on the main Defra website.