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Climate Change: Greenhouse Gases

Volume 687: debated on Tuesday 5 December 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What research the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is funding to reduce the contribution agriculture makes to greenhouse gas emissions of nitrous oxide. [HL220]

Understanding and reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) from farming and the interaction between GHG emissions and reducing the overall environmental impact of agriculture is a complex area. Research to inform policy development is therefore a priority, and we can also draw on an extensive back catalogue of work already conducted by Defra and its predecessors. Research is prominent in our commitments in the 2006 UK Climate Change Programme, including:

research, at a cost of £1 million over three years, to improve the inventory of emissions from agriculture;

research on impacts and adaptation responses for land managers;

research to improve our understanding of the contribution which improved land management practices, including environmental stewardship measures, can make to climate change mitigation; and

raising the efficiency of nitrogen use in agriculture.

We are also developing a policy position, supported by research and development work, on the use of anaerobic digestion to reduce methane emissions. The full range of research and development projects—past, current and proposed—to reduce emissions are available on the Defra website at www2.defra.gov.uk/research/project_data/Default.asp.