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Farming For a Better Climate Newsletter -Summer 2020 (No. 22)

COP26 - November 2021

As the global focus grows on tackling the climate crisis, Scottish farmers are becoming more aware and interested in the challenge of net zero carbon and what it could mean for Scottish agriculture.

November will see Glasgow in the international spotlight, as countries negotiate commitments to limit global temperature increases to no more than 2oC above pre-industrial levels, and pursue efforts to keep this figure nearer 1.5oC, as set out in the Paris Agreement at COP21.

Despite agriculture featuring as the third highest emitter in recent Scottish Government figures (2018 data) , we are still one of the only sectors that can ‘sequester’ or lock up carbon into trees, hedges, grasslands and soils through natural biological processes and bring a credible solution to support climate change mitigation efforts.  As noted earlier, the Farming for a Better Climate work with the Focus Farmers has shown that even the most technically efficient farms can still reduce emissions and benefit the farm business financially with a few practical changes to routine activities.  The Focus Farmers found that the key areas for reductions were often centred around nutrient use and livestock management (feed, fertility and health).

COP26 will bring a great opportunity for Scottish farmers and producers to showcase work that is already underway, both in terms of biodiversity and climate change, as land managers continue to play a vital role in the move towards a lower-carbon country whilst still producing high quality food.

In their Transformation Pathway interim report, the Farming for 1.5oC Enquiry, chaired by farmer Nigel Miller, posed a vital question “Does the sector choose to portray itself as a climate change victim or villain, or is it ready to embrace its role as a champion of positive and responsible action?”  Its up to you.

COP26 at a glance

  •  COP stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’
  • Annual meetings bring together 197 nations and territories (or parties) that have signed up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • COP26 will be held in Glasgow from 1st to 12th November 2021
  • This is the 26th conference, originally scheduled for 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic
  • It will be hosted in partnership between the UK and Italy; Italy is hosting the pre-COP events and the UK will host the main conference
  • If it goes ahead as an ‘in person’ event, COP26 will be biggest summit the UK has ever hosted, with around 30,000 attendees expected
  • COP26 is being viewed as the most significant climate event since the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Also in this edition...

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