06 Feb 2024
by Vicky Robinson, Oli Hill

UK greenhouse gas emissions halve since 1990 as agriculture plays its part

agriculture-emissions-greenhouse-gas-sugar-beet-factor-crop-field-c-tim-scrivener.jpg
A sugar beet factory in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

The UK is the first major economy to halve its greenhouse gas emissions, according to fresh figures published by the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero.

A shift from coal to renewable energy is credited as being the main driver of the UK's falling emissions, with more than 40% of the country’s electricity powered from a renewable source, compared with just 7% in 2010. This has also enabled the UK to achieve its third carbon budget.

Agriculture has seen a reduction of around 12% during this period, with the main drop-off taking place during the 2000s. This has been driven by a fall in livestock numbers and a decrease in synthetic fertiliser use, the latter also contributing to the 2% reduction between 2021 and 2022.

The figure below is taken from the report 2020 UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Final Figures), which also includes sections on industry, waste and land use change.

Agriculture currently accounts for 12% of emissions in the UK according to the Government's 2022 figures.

GHG emissions UK agriculture 1990-2022 - DEZNZ report.png

More on sustainability

The Agricultural Industries Confederation's (AIC) sustainability offering for its Member businesses includes its Roadmap for a Sustainable Food Chain.

This considers the UK agri-supply industry's part in the transition to net zero carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as other aspects of sustainability from business impacts to influence on farming and land use.

The Roadmap identifies opportunities, sets industry ambitions and explains where businesses need support to overcome barriers to progress.

Last year AIC launched "Introduction to Sustainability for the Agri-Supply Industry" online training and Sustainability Self-Assessment Framework to provide businesses a background to, and basic knowledge of, sustainability terminology and application within the agri-supply industry.

The Framework assists agri-supply businesses on their sustainability journey by helping them to assess where they are and monitor their progress as they develop actions to improve their sustainability credentials.

Find out more by clicking below.

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Authors

Vicky Robinson

Vicky Robinson

Head of Sustainability, AIC

Vicky Robinson is Head of Sustainability and is responsible for leading and co-ordinating AIC's work on sustainability. 

A 2019 Nuffield Scholar, Vicky was previously Technical Director at Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF), which followed 22 years working for Natural England and its predecessors on agri-environment delivery, policy development and implementation.

Email:
[email protected]
Phone:
01733 385230

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Oli Hill

Oli Hill

Communications Manager, AIC

As Communications Manager, Oli creates and oversees the content published on AIC's website, emails, Member briefings, print publications, and social media.

A qualified multimedia journalist, he previously spent six years working at Farmers Weekly magazine as a Senior Reporter on the arable team, and latterly as Community Editor. More recently he was Communications Manager at Red Tractor.

Email:
[email protected]
Phone:
01733 385230
Twitter:
@oliverjhill_

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