Part of the Solution: Climate Change, Agriculture and Land Management
Taking advantage of a handful of different techniques to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, and harness renewable energy can make British agriculture a near-carbon-neutral industry, according to this report from the National Farming Union.
Agriculture currently represents about 7 percent of the U.K.'s carbon emissions, which is notably lower than the 10-12 percent of global emissions due to farming. But in addition to reducing the industry's emissions, the strategy advocated in the groups' report will also increase the number of renewable energy-producing sites on farmlands in the country.
In recent years, emissions from agriculture have slightly decreased in Britain, according to the report's authors. The decline is due largely to a reduction in number of livestock and less nitrogen-based fertilizers in use in the country. But if the industry adopts a few ecologically beneficial practices, it can more significantly decrease its emissions.
Among the recommendations are more focused land-management practices, including yield-increasing measures, minimal-till or no-till farming practices, and more organic manure and straw composting, all of which can increase the amount of carbon sequestered in the soil. Other sustainable farming practices are included in the recommendations, including returning marginally productive lands back to wetlands, peatlands and native vegetation.