Welsh unions highlight farmers' role in fighting climate change

The unions warn climate change could bring on crop failures, famines, and the loss of vast areas of farmland and communities to rising seas
The unions warn climate change could bring on crop failures, famines, and the loss of vast areas of farmland and communities to rising seas

Wales' two farming unions have highlighted the vital role of agriculture in helping the UK to address the threat of climate change.

NFU Cymru and the Farmers' Union of Wales held a virtual meeting with the UK's High-Level Climate Action Champion, Nigel Topping, who was appointed by the prime minister in January.

In addition to wider discussions around climate change, the roundtable event provided a platform to discuss the 'Race to Zero' campaign.

The international campaign aims to strive for a healthy, resilient zero carbon recovery, which was launched on World Environment Day and will run up to COP26 .



NFU Cymru president, John Davies said food producers were on the 'front line' of climate change impacts.

"The continued turbulent weather events we have experienced in recent years is further evidence that our climate is changing.



"We believe agriculture is uniquely placed to be part of the solution, as both an emissions source and a sink.

"Farmers in Wales aspire to produce the most climate-friendly food in the world," Mr Davies said.

NFU Cymru, along with the NFU, have set a goal of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) across the whole of agriculture by 2040.

Farmers are focusing on measures in the key areas of improving farming’s productive efficiency, enabling them to produce the same quantity of food or more with less inputs and in smarter ways.

The Farmers' Union of Wales (FUW) said the farming industry 'must work hard' to mitigate climate change through innovative measures.

President Glyn Roberts said: “We cannot afford to gamble on the scientists being wrong and risk seeing impacts of Biblical proportions: Crop failures, famines, the loss of vast areas of farmland and communities to rising seas, mass migrations and war to name just a few."

Nigel Topping, High Level Climate Action Champion for the UN added: “For farmers, taking such leadership creates the win-win of future-proofing their business while also contributing to meaningful action.



“We are already seeing widespread examples of farmers in the UK and across the globe finding innovative solutions to protect the planet through nature based solutions.

"To achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest, we need farms to join the Race to Zero and to submit their own plans ahead of COP26.”