Agriculture is responsible for 11% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the UK, despite only representing 0.5% of GDP. Concerningly, emissions from agriculture and land use have remained relatively stable since 2008, which is inconsistent with the UK Government’s Net Zero target. Accelerating the transition to low-emissions and nature-positive farming is essential if the UK is to meet its long-term climate and nature goals.

The Bankers for Net Zero Agriculture working group was established in December 2022 to develop specific recommendations for accelerating UK agriculture’s transition to net zero. The working group includes participants from the following banks and stakeholder organisations: Atom Bank, Gentle Farming, Handelsbanken, HSBC UK, Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF), the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), the Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN), Oxbury Bank Plc, Paragon Banking Group, Re:Pattern, the Soil Association and Triodos Bank UK.

The working group was facilitated by Volans, a think tank and advisory firm at the forefront of sustainability and innovation and co-founder of the Bankers for Net Zero initiative.

Our recommendations:
  • Incentivise peer-to-peer learning and knowledge exchange with government grants in
    support of national climate and nature goals.
  • Create a pre-competitive forum for banks, farmers and key players in the food value
    chain to come together and align on GHG measurement, reporting and standards.
  • Use public sector food procurement standards to create demand for low-emission
    farming in food supply chains.
  • Set out a clear plan and timeline for phasing down the use of fossil fuel-based
  • Clarify how public finance will be used to attract and complement private finance.