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Land Use Climate Change Group

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The report is presented in 2 sections – the first, comprising an introduction, executive summary, recommendations, and engagement, is fully bilingual.

The second section, which summarises the scientific evidence and contains a more extensive analysis of the options and scenarios, is monolingual.

The Land Use Climate Change Group was set up in January 2009 by the Minister for Rural Affairs. It was an independent group chaired by Professor Gareth Wyn Jones formerly of Bangor University, with representatives from farming, forestry, research and environmental organisations. The Group was asked to consider how agriculture and rural land use can reduce climate change and adapt to it. It was also was asked to look at the opportunities for farming and forestry businesses.

The Group presented its findings to the Minister in March 2010. The report recommends a set of initiatives by which Wales can maintain its food production potential while at the same time cutting emissions of greenhouse gases.

Key elements suggested by the report for reducing emissions are:

  • the introduction of anaerobic digestion to reduce methane emissions
  • improving farm productivity, including more efficient use of manure, fertilisers and energy
  • expansion of woodlands
  • the development of renewable energy sources. 

The report’s emphasis is on maintaining intensive dairy, sheep and beef sectors while diversifying and increasing vegetable crops. In the longer term, the report recommends development of a more radical approach where much of the cattle herd is housed and methane emissions are captured. By 2040, agriculture and land use sectors could make substantial progress to carbon neutrality.