Financial Times letter to editor in response to: “Can farmers achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050?”

Dear Sir,

I read with interest Gail Bradbrook’s message to British Farmers, and the subsequent article in the Financial Times which highlighted agriculture will have to contribute if the UK is to meet its ambitious pledge to meet net zero carbon emissions targets by 2050.

It is widely recognised that British farmers are some of the most innovative in the world. Having provided over £300m of funding for energy from waste projects and worked with the agricultural sector over 15-years, Privilege Finance can contest that many farmers have, in fact, been contributing for some time.

A leading environmental professor has recently been quoted stating farming can become completely ‘climate neutral’ if agricultural methane emissions are reduced by just 20 per cent over the next 30 years[1].

In the UK there are over 320 anaerobic digestion (AD) plants on farms, and many of these produce their biogas from farm waste, such as slurry, or crop residues.

This means methane is captured that would have otherwise been released to the atmosphere, while a source of clean, green energy is also generated – both of which contribute towards the UK’s net zero goals.

The agricultural machinery sector has also made strides in developing farm vehicles, such as tractors, running on compressed natural grass (CNG), which can be produced on farm from AD.

With opportunities to decarbonise the grid, reduce agricultural emissions, and provide green gas for the transport network, the prospect of agricultural AD continuing to bridge the gap between the UK government and its environmental targets is undeniable.

But we must not ignore the steps already being taken by the agricultural community towards this.

Chris Winward

Director, Privilege Finance


Chris Winward