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SECTOR GROUP: Farming and other Land use

farming and other land use

Emissions from Farming and other Land Use include sources which emit carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases, and sinks which absorb carbon dioxide. In Cumbria, sources are estimated to be around  2.5 MtCO2 equivalent, and sinks are estimated to absorb around 0.6MtCO2. As well as rapidly reducing emissions from farming and other land use by 2037, sinks will need to absorb much more carbon dioxide.

[Figures sourced from updated carbon baseline]

Under-pinned by data from Cumbria’s Carbon Baseline Report, the Farming and other Land Use sector group has been formed  to create and steer Emissions Reduction Action Plans, in order to achieve Cumbria’s ambition of becoming carbon net-zero by 2037. 

Contents

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The Farming and other Land Use sector group has an important role to play here in Cumbria. We already know that agriculture is a significant contributor to global climate change and in this large, rural county, it is exacerbated by the substantial demand on land use such as; agriculture, housing, tourism, industry transport and nature conservation. 

The impacts of climate change and the extreme weather conditions associated with it are increasingly felt in Cumbria, a county that already experiences harsh climatic conditions. Combined with intensive land use activities it results in the loss of natural habitats, destruction of woodlands and degradation of our peatlands. 

Cumbria has been a farming county for around 7,000 years  and as such  is woven into the lives of generations of people. But modern farming practices which have to work to the demands of the market, cause a range of damaging emissions.

Although agriculture is very susceptible to the impacts of climate change, it plays a vital role in national food security and environmental land stewardship. 

Responding to the emissions related to farming and other land use will unlock huge benefits. By preserving and managing natural sequestration systems such as; peatlands, lakes, woodlands, rivers, marshes and uplands this will help mitigate the damaging effects of climate change by strengthening nature’s own weather defences; reducing flood risk, providing shade and improving water quality.  

In addition to being home to roughly 500,000 residents, Cumbria attracts over 11 million visitors every year. Holidaymakers flock to the National Park to enjoy its outstanding natural beauty. By protecting our natural assets and adopting greener farming practices, we can promote sustainable tourism and leisure activities increasing health and wellbeing for all.

 

Sector group progress update

March 2024

New: Read the sector group's plans

After a great deal of work over the past few months, the sector group’s plans are now published, representing a significant milestone in our journey towards a net zero Cumbria.  The plans are presented in two documents;  an Emissions Reduction Pathway (ERP) and Emissions Reduction Action Plan (ERAP).

  • The Emissions Reduction Pathway sets out the strategic direction to reduce carbon emissions. It includes a carbon baseline, a vision and objectives for a net zero Cumbria, priority areas for reducing emissions and how we should tackle decarbonisation.

  • The Emissions Reduction Action Plan sets out detailed proposed actions for emissions reduction in each sector.  Actions are built around priority areas for decarbonisation, identifying potential targets and key stakeholders for delivery.

  • Your feedback is an important part of the process, so click the button and find out more about Cumbria’s steps to a more sustainable future.

    Sector group progress update

    What emissions are in scope?

    On farm emissions

    On farm emissions

    This area includes all emissions from soil and grass management.

    Farm supply chains

    Farm supply chains

    All emissions associated with farm supply chains.

    Forestry

    Forestry

    This area of scope examines the emissions of forestry activities including agroforestry.

    Woodlands

    Woodlands

    Promoting the natural sequestration potential. Including the planting and management of woodlands.

    Peatlands

    Peatlands

    Including peatland restoration.

    Other land use

    Other land use

    Including wetlands, nature conservation and emissions from land use supply chains.

    Working towards net zero: land use and farming news from around Cumbria

    Solar Farm Site to go ahead in Barrow

    A 2MW solar farm on council owned land at Sandscale Park, Barrow, has been approved this week. The electricity generated will be enough for approximately 730 homes a year,  and is expected save about 607 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent each year.  Part of this development also includes a biodiversity

    Read More »

    Youth Climate Summit 2023

    This year’s Youth Climate Summit took place in Kendal. The young people at the summit were asked about solutions and barriers for each of the sector group areas. Watch their thoughts on ‘farming and other land use’ below.

    How could we reach net zero?

    To tackle Cumbria’s ambitious target of reaching net-zero by 2037, the Farming and other Land Use sector group plays an integral role.

    To help achieve this, some suggested Priority Emission Reduction Actions (PERAs) have been identified, based on extensive research across a broad evidence base ranging from IPCC and UK Government reports to emissions data from Cumbria’s carbon baseline report.

    These PERAs offer a key starting point from which the Farming and other Land Use sector group can develop detailed Emissions Reduction Action Plans leading to rapid countywide action.

     The suggested PERA’s  for the Farming and other Land Use sector group are focussed on the following areas:

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