Press release

Farming industry must act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Agriculture Minister Jim Paice has challenged farmers to live up to their commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Speaking at the launch of the farming industry’s Greenhouse Gas Action Plan, Jim Paice said:

“Our farmers are making an important commitment to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and we will continue to support them to achieve this. I’d really like to see the industry seizing this opportunity and I look forward to seeing real action in farms across the country.

“This is the first step on the farming sector’s road to becoming more sustainable and I expect the partner organisations to show clear leadership as industry works to meet this challenge.”

The Minister thanked the National Farmers Union, the Country Land and Business Association, and the Agricultural Industries Confederation for their work to coordinate the plan’s delivery.

The farming industry’s progress will be reviewed in 2012 as part of a wider Government review of how different activities, including Government policy, affect agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.


Meeting the challenge: Agricultural Industry GHG Action Plan, is available to download from

Agriculture contributes approximately 9 per cent of the UK total of greenhouse gas emissions. It is the single largest emitter of nitrous oxide (76 per cent of UK total) and accounts for 38 per cent of the UK’s methane emissions, and only contributes around 1 per cent of UK total carbon dioxide emissions.

The Government is supporting the agricultural sector to reduce its emissions by:

  • investing £12.6m to improve science base and measurement of on-farm emissions (Agriculture GHG Inventory);
  • launching a pilot scheme to offer integrated advice to farmers on land management and reducing emissions;
  • working with supply chains to reduce their emissions; and
  • looking at other ways that policy can support the industry, for example through reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.

The GHGAP has been launched by sixteen organisations representing the agricultural industry in England, led by the National Farmers Union, the Agricultural Industries Confederation and the Country Land and Business Association.

Published 4 April 2011