Farmers and crofters ‘green by nature’

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Scotland’s farmers and crofters must be recognised as part of the solution to delivering on the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) ‘net-zero’ target, according to NFU Scotland.

A report by the union published last week said that Scotland has greater potential to remove emissions from its economy than the UK overall, and can credibly adopt a more ambitious target of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 2045. The CCC’s recommendation covers all sectors of the Scottish economy.

NFU Scotland president Andrew McCornick said: ‘Our farmers and crofters are green by nature, we are starting from a very good place and we will work with the government to help the industry become a world leader in low-carbon farming.

‘The CCC recommendation that Scotland can achieve net-zero emissions by 2045 is era-changing and a huge moment in the climate change debate for Scotland’s farmers and crofters.

‘They take their environmental responsibilities incredibly seriously and continue to adopt practical, workable solutions and improvements to the challenge of climate change.

‘For government to deliver on its part, there is a strong justification for enhancing this type of funding and initiative in the future, in order to incentivise further take-up of these practices.’

Around 85 per cent of Scotland’s farmland is defined as Less Favoured Area, and 43 per cent is defined as High Nature Value land. Landscape and climate mean that much of Scotland’s farmland is unploughable and unsuitable for crops other than grass.