FARMERS have taken significant strides towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions in Britain, the NFU said on Monday.

Opening a conference on farming and climate change, which the union had organised in conjunction with the Sustainable Food Trust, president Minette Batters said every farmer had a role to play in this critical aspiration.

As such, she urged the Government to provide effective incentives to help the industry reach the target by 2040.

“Climate change is the greatest and most compelling challenge facing society today and each and every one of us has a part to play to mitigate the climate threat,” she said.

“For farmers, this means tackling the climate challenge head on – adapting the way we produce food to help deliver a greener planet for us all.”

While the British farming industry was pushing itself to become net zero by 2040, she said that shouldn’t cause a detrimental impact on net farm incomes – and it certainly didn’t mean scaling down production.

“Instead, we need to implement a portfolio of methods to improve our production efficiency, capture more carbon on farmland and boost our production of bioenergy and land-based renewables. Effective incentives are going to be vital in each of these areas.

“As both a sink and a source of greenhouse gasses, agriculture is uniquely placed to be a key part of the solution to the climate challenge.

“Our unique landscape and diverse farming systems enable us to produce food efficiently and sustainably, and we have been very clear in our ambition to build on this further and lead the way in climate-friendly food production.

“Our journey towards climate neutrality must be made together.

“If we work together, learn from each other and share our ideas I truly believe we can reach our net zero aspiration, and show the world that it can be done.”