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The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

11 Dec 2007 05:12:00

UK agriculture 'could be near carbon neutral'

UK agriculture 'could be near carbon neutral'
Despite being the UK's second largest industry emitter of greenhouse gases, the agriculture sector has the potential to become nearly carbon neutral, according to a new report.

The study, published by a task force backed by the National Farmer's Union, the Agricultural Industries Commission and the Country Land and Business Association, claimed that increased use of renewable energy and energy efficient technology could help the sector achieve its goal.

In particular the report highlighted the potential benefits of using anaerobic digesters to take slurry and other agricultural products and produce heat and electricity, as well as reducing methane emissions, Reuters reported.

There is no doubt climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing agriculture," minister for climate change, biodiversity and waste, Joan Ruddock, said. "Agriculture has a responsibility to cut its emissions as much as possible."

"Research suggests that by stimulating both on-farm and centralised anaerobic digestion facilities up to 75 per cent of UK methane emissions could be prevented from current manure management practices in dairy, cattle and fattening pig enterprises," the report added.

The UK's agricultural sector produces about seven per cent of the country's greenhouse gases, according to figures provided by Reuters.ADNFCR-1235-ID-18390238-ADNFCR

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