Scottish Greens Farming Spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP will today (18 Jun) bring forward amendments to the Climate Change Bill to create a new action plan to tackle emissions from farming as part of the climate emergency.
The system currently used to calculate Scotland’s climate change emissions separates agriculture from land use, meaning farming often is credited for emissions from agriculture, but not the positive sequestering effect of good land management and forestry, which also takes place on our farms.
Mark Ruskell MSP said:
“The agriculture sector is in a unique position in Scotland – it’s the second biggest emitter of climate change gases after transport, but it also holds the potential to lock up significant amounts of carbon in our soils, grasslands and forests. It holds the solution to Scotland reaching our net zero goal, but we don’t have a clear plan on how to achieve this yet.
"Many farmers in Scotland are already producing food in sustainable ways that contribute greatly to tackling the climate emergency, but at the moment emissions from farming and land use are counted separately so there’s no way to distinguish these good farming practices from more harmful, intensive food production.
"My plan will bring these together for the first time, giving a net figure for the impact our farms have as a whole. It will then require the Government and industry to produce a roadmap, rolling out the best techniques for reducing and sequestering our emissions right across the industry.
"The plan will look different for each farm, but it will be based on techniques we already know work. Things like increasing the amount of land we farm organically, and introducing nutrient management plans on every farm, so that our soils are as healthy as they can be, or using less intensive grazing practices so our fields become carbon sinks and not just production units.
"This is about creating a positive plan for Scotland’s farming future, one in which our food system is the solution to the climate emergency, not an ongoing problem”.