Scottish Parliament Debate to Highlight the Positive Role of Agriculture in Tackling Climate Change

Ahead of a debate in the Scottish Parliament tomorrow (20 February 2020), NFU Scotland welcomed the opportunity to highlight the positive role that Scotland’s farmers and crofters are playing in tackling climate change.

The debate is being led by Maurice Golden, MSP for West Scotland, who has laid a motion which states, in full, that the Scottish Parliament: “welcomes the contribution of Scottish agriculture to protecting the environment and being part of the solution to tackling climate change; commends Scottish farmers, including those in the West of Scotland, for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 29.4% since 1990; recognises that Scottish farmers already work hard to preserve the landscape, improve biodiversity, plant and manage woodland, restore peatland, improve water and soil quality and generate renewable energy; acknowledges the view that there is a need to develop a suite of joined-up, practical and progressive policies that allow food producers to continue running their businesses in a more sustainable and efficient manner, and looks forward to the new Agricultural Modernisation Fund assisting industry in this transition.”

Scottish Labour Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Claudia Beamish, has added an amendment to the motion welcoming a just transition to sustainable land use - something NFUS strongly supports.

NFU Scotland has sent a briefing to all MSPs ahead of the debate, that includes the following facts that:

  • Scottish farmers and crofters have already worked hard to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by almost 30 percent.
  • Agriculture contributes a fraction of UK greenhouse gas emissions. UK agriculture is responsible for only 9% of total UK greenhouse emissions, while cattle and sheep are responsible for just 3%.
  • Scottish farmers are already undertaking a range of practical measures to reduce emissions from farm. These include improving livestock health and efficiency, soil management and sequestration, efficient use of fertilisers, slurry and manure.  
  • NFUS has welcomed the recently announced Agricultural Modernisation Fund, which will allow Scottish farmers, crofters and land managers to make plans for investing in a low emissions future. 
  • NFUS also welcomes the commitment from Scottish Government to a new beef sector climate group to drive forward practical measures in reducing emissions.  That will go hand-in-hand with continuing to improve efficiency, productivity and profitability.
  • NFUS also welcomes the commitment to establish similar groups for cereals and dairy in the future.

NFU Scotland’s Political Affairs Manager, Clare Slipper said: “Scottish agriculture already has an incredibly positive climate change story to tell and this debate is a great opportunity to tell it.

“Scotland’s farmers and crofters see themselves as part of the solution to climate change and we call on all MSPs to support policy options in the future which offer a suite of practical measures to help farmers reduce emissions while maintaining production and driving forward the performance of agricultural businesses.

“We must also work alongside the Scottish Government to lobby the UK Government to ensure that future trade arrangements consider the best outcomes for the UK as a whole and that includes giving consideration to climate change and the environment.

“Environmental protection standards enshrined in UK legislation are delivered day in, day out by our farmers and crofters.  Trade deals must ensure that all future food imports into the UK are produced to at least equivalent standards as those required of producers at home.”  


Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Author: Bob Carruth

Date Published:

News Article No.: 15/20

< Article List


Report Abusive Comment

Comment Content:

Why it offends me (optional):

Have Your Say

No-one has commented on this article yet. Be the first to have your say...

New Comment


Total Pages:
Total Results:
Page Start:
Page Result #:

Quick Contact

Which Region do you live in?  
Are you a member of NFU Scotland?  

This form collects and sends the information supplied to NFU Scotland. You can read our privacy policy for full details on how we protect and manage your data.
  I consent to having NFU Scotland collect the above details.


NFU Scotland
Head Office
Rural Centre - West Mains
Ingliston, Midlothian
EH28 8LT

Tel: 0131 472 4000

NFU Mutual Logo

Get the App

NFUS App QR Code

©NFU Scotland • All Rights Reserved • Web design by Big Red DigitalLog in


Contact Us




No Robots:

This form collects and sends the information supplied to NFU Scotland. You can read our privacy policy for full details on how we protect and manage your data.
  I consent to having NFU Scotland collect the above details.