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Farm Emissions

Volume 453: debated on Monday 27 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with the bodies of the farming industry on including farming within the carbon dioxide emissions targets. (102600)

Direct emissions of carbon dioxide are not the key issue for farming in tackling climate change. Agriculture contributes 7 per cent. of UK greenhouse gas emissions but less than 1 per cent. of UK carbon dioxide emissions.

The bigger challenge is on two other gases, methane and nitrous oxide, of which some 36 per cent. and 67 per cent. respectively of UK emissions comes from agriculture, from livestock, manures, and artificial fertiliser.

There are no specific emissions reduction targets for agriculture at the moment. Nevertheless we are working closely with the National Farmers' Union and the Country Land and Business Association, for example through the Rural Climate Change Forum, on policies and measures to ensure that farmers can play a full part in reducing UK emissions and help move us to a low carbon economy.