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As we seek to keep a 1.5 degree climate pathway on track, we need to reduce the environmental impact of all sectors of the economy. This includes the way we produce our food and use our land. Farming and land use represent 12% of UK territorial greenhouse gas emissions. This figure can be reduced, and we can adapt the way we manage our land to sequester carbon, improve water and air quality and restore nature in the countryside of the UK.

To show how this can be done, the WWF-UK and Tesco Partnership has commissioned two reports to explore the opportunity farming has to reach net zero. These reports, by expert consultants Eunomia and Green Alliance, provide a fresh perspective on this increasingly important topic, and were exclusively launched on the 5th of January 2022 at the Oxford Farming Conference. In combination, the reports showcase the capacity of agriculture to reduce emissions and sequester carbon, and demonstrate how these two pillars of net zero link to nature, land use and emerging carbon markets for agriculture.

These vast, flat fields are typical of Lincolnshire and East Anglia.

Reducing Emissions

This report by Eunomia and Innovation for Agriculture explores the capacity of agriculture to reduce emissions. The key interventions and activities that can be undertaken on farms across the UK are reviewed by academics, industry experts and farmers themselves. Through this review, the report offers a number of recommendations to maximise the uptake of low-carbon farming activities. Furthermore, the WWF-UK and Tesco Partnership worked with Eunomia and Innovation for Agriculture to convert the findings of the report into a Low Carbon Farming Guide, which you can also download here.

Top down shot of cattle from drone as they explore fresh wildflower pasture while "mob grazing"

Sequestering Carbon

These reports by Green Alliance investigate the capacity of agriculture to sequester carbon, and the emerging markets for this carbon. They explore the various interventions and activities that can be delivered on farms to sequester carbon in soils, hedges, habitats and trees. Furthermore, the reports consider the risks and opportunities of emerging markets for agri-carbon, which many view as a potential future income stream for farmers. This includes providing important and relevant recommendations to ensure that these markets develop in a credible, robust and equitable way.

Any questions?

For enquiries into these reports, or WWF-UK’s work on sustainable agriculture, please contact Callum Weir (Sustainable Agriculture Specialist) via email at cweir@wwf.org.uk