Following the energy sector, agriculture is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases in Britain. However, a new industry report launched this week has found that agriculture has a great potential to be almost carbon neutral.
Agriculture emits around seven percent of Britain’s greenhouse gases. The report found that, “through accelerated uptake of energy efficiency and a range of renewable energy technologies, there is potential for agriculture ultimately to become almost carbon neutral”.
Britain’s minister for climate change, biodiversity and waste Joan Ruddock welcomed the push towards carbon neutrality in the agriculture sector, and said that awareness among farmers about climate change was at an all-time high and that urgent action was needed. “Agriculture has a responsibility to cut its emissions as much as possible,” Ruddock stated.
The report promotes technologies such as anaerobic digesters that utilize slurry, grass clippings and other agricultural by-products to produce heat or electricity and cut emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane.
“Research suggests that by stimulating both on-farm and centralized anaerobic digestion facilities up to 75 percent of UK methane emissions could be prevented from current manure management practices in dairy, cattle and fattening pig enterprises,” the report said.
The report was produced by a climate-change task force backed by Britain’s National Farmers Union, the Agricultural Industries Confederation and the Country Land and Business Association.