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IAgrE is the professional body for engineers, scientists, technologists and managers in agricultural and allied landbased industries. Click the icons to find out more.

IAgrE Pledge to Net Zero

Introduction

The commitment of achieving net zero emissions of GHG by 2050 became law in the UK and developed administrations in 2019. The Society for the Environment (SocEnv) are leading a net zero carbon campaign that is encouraging and co-ordinating institutional and business pledges to commit to a Net Zero pledge. The IAgrE is keen to offer its support and take the pledge, this will involve some initial preparation and we will share the learning with members.

 

Implications for the IAgrE (Head office)

1. Set and commit to deliver a greenhouse gas target in line with either a 1.5°C or well below 2°C climate change scenario – covering buildings and travel as a minimum.

2. Publicly report greenhouse gas emissions and progress against this target each year.

3. Publish one piece of research or thought-leadership piece each year on practical steps to deliver a net zero greenhouse gas economy. Alternatively, signatories may choose to provide mentoring and support for smaller signatory companies in setting targets, reporting and meeting the requirements of the pledge.

Actions

IAgrE with the SocEnv., provides leadership and guidance on this issue:

  • IAgrE signs the pledge
  • Encourages members to engage and sign
  • Provide ongoing support and connectivity

Activities

  • Co-ordinate lunchtime seminar on engaging with the challenge & pledge
  • Hold Podcast with an industry champion
  • Dedicates a webpage to information & resources with industry case studies
  • Explore and report on innovation opportunities within the challenge (News from Net Zero)

Implications for IAgrE members

The IAgrE intend to show leadership in this area to guide existing and prospective members who are involved in the land based industries.  We are keen to learn what the implications of Net Zero and taking the pledge would be for members.  What awareness do you have of the issue and what perspectives you have of the innovations necessary to achieve Net Zero in your particular sector?

To help understand what a Net Zero GHG policy framework for land use would look like the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) have produced a report illustrating policy options and their implications.

Land use:  Policies for a Net Zero UK (Committee on Climate Change Jan 2020)

Net Zero requires a transformation in land use across the UK. The report sets out a detailed range of options to drive emissions reductions in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  • Increase tree planting – increasing UK forestry cover from 13% to at least 17% by 2050 by planting around 30,000 hectares (90 – 120 million trees) of broadleaf and conifer woodland each year.
  • Encourage low-carbon farming practices – such as ‘controlled-release’ fertilisers, improving livestock health and slurry acidification.
  • Restore peatlands – restoring at least 50% of upland peat and 25% of lowland peat.
  • Encourage bioenergy crops – expand the planting of UK energy crops to around 23,000 hectares each year.
  • Reduce food waste and consumption of the most carbon-intensive foods – reduce the 13.6 million tonnes of food waste produced annually by 20% and the consumption of beef, lamb and dairy by at least 20% per person, well within current healthy eating guidelines.  Reducing consumption and supporting locally reared meat is ideal.

The net zero commitment signals a significant challenge to the way land will be managed in the future.  With these challenges will come opportunities, the scale and range of change in land use and some of its implication are illustrated in the infographic.

The Royal Academy of Engineering have provided some useful research on how a reduction in emmisions may be achieved and how engineers can make a difference - Read more on their Net Zero webpage and click here for the paper Net Zero: A systems perspective on the climate challenge 

 

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