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Climate Change

Volume 479: debated on Thursday 17 July 2008

12. What steps his Department is taking to encourage best practice in adaptation to climate change in the countryside. (219298)

We have a cross-government programme on adaptation, and a framework for adaptation is established through the Climate Change Bill. DEFRA is working with regional rural affairs forums, Farming Futures and the rural climate change forum to help raise awareness and encourage best practice.

I am delighted that at last we have a cross-government framework on adaptation. What funding did DEFRA include in its budgets for research into, and knowledge transfer regarding, climate change adaptation in rural communities, including for productive agriculture?

I thank my hon. Friend. This is a very important issue, and next week I intend to launch the adapting to climate change website, which will show what is happening across the whole of Government. This is not just a DEFRA issue; it is across the whole of Government, and an accompanying document will be published. But I can tell him that £5 million per year has been given to a research programme on agriculture and climate change, which includes research on the impacts of climate change on agriculture and how the sector can adapt. We are also working with the rural climate change forum, as I said. We have provided £250,000 up to March 2009 to Farming Futures, which aims to provide for farmers practical advice on adaptation. There is not time to go into what we are doing on biodiversity, but enabling biodiversity to adapt to climate change is also very significant, and money is being spent.