A panel of farmers, academics and NGO representatives, including Prof Dave Reay, Director of Edinburgh Climate Change Institute, have published a consensus pathway for making Scottish farming climate compatible.
In a debate that has been notoriously polarised, Farming for 1.5 Inquiry was able to set out a credible way forward by bringing different perspectives and aspirations around the same table.
Agriculture accounts for 20% of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions. Scottish Government cannot achieve its ambitious climate targets without a transformation in farming.
After a 2-year long Inquiry, the Farming for 1.5 panel produced a consensus set of policy recommendations, taking the sector from where it is today to net zero in 2045.
Farming for 1.5 was established as an independent inquiry in 2019 by NFU Scotland and Nourish Scotland. It was born out of the desire to explore a viable way forward for farming; one that could deliver for all stakeholders as well as nature and climate.
The panel heard evidence from experts on farming practices, environmental impacts and behavioural change; and conducted farm visits.
The independence of the Inquiry enabled all panel members to contribute views freely and develop their thinking collectively, without any pre-determined constraints.
The key recommendations of the report include:
- whole farm contracts to deliver on farming and nature from 2024;
- reducing total emissions from agriculture while maintaining food production per capita;
- rapid uptake in low methane breeding for cows and sheep.
Prof Dave Reay, Director of Edinburgh Climate Change Institute, University of Edinburgh and member of Farming 1.5 Inquiry said: "Too often farming is seen as an obstacle to addressing the climate emergency and the nature crisis.
"The reality is that land use and agriculture in Scotland can lead the whole nation towards a just, resilient and nature-rich transition to net zero."
Read the report