It is claimed that farming is a major contributor to climate change as a result of the generation of greenhouse gases throughout the supply chain, yet it received little or no mention at the November 2015 UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris. Its adverse effects are said to derive, for example, from forest clearance, which reduces vital carbon ‘sinks’ and also releases greenhouse gases previously stored in the soil and vegetation. Furthermore, livestock farming accounts for around 14.5% of global greenhouse emissions, including significant amounts of methane and nitrous oxide from animal waste and fertiliser use, both more potent than carbon dioxide in relation to global warming.
Agriculture also suffers significantly from climate change and global warming such as the adverse effects on the rearing of animals and growing of food crops in water-scarce regions, the increased spread of pests and diseases and increasing exposure to heat stress and soil erosion from stronger winds.
- Dr Ceris Jones, National Farmers’ Union Climate Change Adviser
- Richard Young, Policy Director, Sustainable Food Trust
- Richard Black, Director, Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit
- Pamela Castle OBE