We Must Work With Farmers In Fight Against Climate Change

South of Scotland MSP Emma Harper has outlined the importance of working with farmers to achieve Scotland’s climate change goals.

In a speech to Parliament last week, Ms Harper said that the Scottish Government’s draft climate change plan must take into account the challenges facing the agricultural sector.

Ms Harper said:

“I welcome the Scottish Government’s ambition for Scottish food producers to be among the lowest carbon and most efficient in the world. 
“I have met with countless farmers since I was elected and know that collectively, they understand both the necessity of cutting emissions, and the advantages to their own businesses of doing so.
 “Since 1990, emissions from the industry have reduced significantly. However, there are challenges facing the sector which we need to be conscious of. 
“Almost half of the global warming agriculture emissions are from methane produced by biological sources. Methane released by livestock – mostly by oral route I would like to add – is not easily controlled.
“It is important to acknowledge that, and to work collaboratively with farmers to help reduce emissions where ever possible.
“I was pleased to hear from the Cabinet Secretary that there will be no immediate requirement for farmers to undertake compulsory soil testing. Instead we will see a phased approach to mandatory pH testing on improved land.
“The intent – that all improved land is tested routinely for pH –remains the same, and compulsory testing will be introduced as a staged process.
“I firmly believe that practice changes can best be achieved by working collaboratively with farmers. 


“I am therefore pleased that the Scottish Government plans to engage with farmers and crofters to increase understanding of environmental and economic benefits of low carbon farming. 


“Many farmers I have spoken to are in fact already taking significant voluntary steps in the right direction.”

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