The NFU is urgently asking UK government to implement “practical, progressive” policies to support the net zero transition following discussion from COP28.
As the only British agriculture representatives at the event, they want to ensure policy changes can help British farmers adapt to climate change, so they can continue to provide climate-friendly food products both for the UK and abroad.
NFU deputy president Tom Bradshaw said: “Climate change is one of the biggest threats to global food security. More and more, farmers and growers across the world are facing severe weather events of drought, fires and flooding. As we speak, some British farms are still under water from the recent storms.
“Every year at COP, many policy conversations take place and many commitments are made. These are very important, but they have to lead to support for practical action on the ground.
Other considerations of frontline agricultural problems include supporting carbon auditing on farms and standardising carbon calculators. Investing in water management infrastructure is also being called for, as Tom Bradshaw explained:
“Take water as an example – our most precious resource. In the UK, we often have too much, yet outdated infrastructure does not enable us to easily store water when we have too little. We need urgent investment in water management, both to protect farms and homes from flooding and to ensure water for food in times of drought.
“Farmers across the country are also ready and willing to help alleviate the risks of extreme weather events on their local communities, but they will need support to do this.
“Many farmers play a crucial role protecting nearby towns and villages from flooding by holding water on their land, and this public good has to be recognised and rewarded.”
COP28 will take place over the next few days in the UAE and will mark the end of a year of food production marred by record temperatures and weather events.