Regenerative agriculture, agroecology and nature-friendly farming – essential in order to ensure UK food production – are at risk of becoming buzzwords: all talk and little action, according to Bankers for Net Zero’s latest report.
The proposals outlined in ‘Fertile Ground: Accelerating the Transition to Net Zero Agriculture’ are the product of a series of working sessions and interviews involving banks and industry stakeholders aligning with the Government’s recent launch of the ‘Net Zero Review’.
The publication highlights that despite accounting for just 0.5 per cent of GDP, the agricultural sector contributes 11 per cent of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, the Green Finance Institute has projected a £56 billion finance gap over the next decade to achieve nature-related public policy objectives, highlighting the urgent need for coordinated action.
The report has identified a set of actionable recommendations – such as government grants to support national climate – to minimise the risk of green farming methods “becoming redundant” and to drive real progress in transitioning agriculture to net zero within the UK.
The report seeks out to set out in the simplest terms how the combination of action from banks and policymakers can accelerate progress towards net zero for the UK’s agriculture sector, bringing the UK’s desired climate, nature, and biodiversity outcomes to life while protecting the future viability of the more than 200,000 farm holdings in the UK.
Heather Buchanan, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of Bankers for Net Zero, said:
“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to bring together some of the most important voices in the industry to develop this ground-breaking report. UK banks recognise that supporting their agriculture customers to reduce emissions is vital for achieving their climate and nature commitments.
The need for a collaborative approach from banks, governments, farmers, retailers and the entire food supply chain is clear. Banks are unable to drive progress in a silo. It is crucial that policymakers lend their support to break down barriers and facilitate coordinated action.”
The Bankers for Net Zero initiative’s participants and partners are eager to work with Parliamentarians and policymakers to bring the ideas in this paper to fruition and to ensure that government action has the desired impact of catalysing private sector action.
The report can be read here.
Bankers for Net Zero’s other publications can also be found here.