Although one of the big debates across the press and media has been the doubt cast on the environmental benefits of a vegetarian diet, arguing that calorie for calorie provided, eating meat is no worse for the environment, the big environmental news this month comes from Paris. The climate change deal, struck between 195 countries, seeks to keep temperature rises well below 2C and commits to curb increases to 1.5C. I addition it agrees on a five-year review system to increase ambition on cutting emissions to meet temperature goals.
Notable aspects of the agreements included the trading of carbon being central farming and the protection from climate change mitigation if this threatens food production. Article two of the agreement focuses heavily on food security features in a global climate change accord. With over 800 million people suffering from chronic hunger and 80 per cent of the world’s poor who live in rural areas feeding their families via agriculture, by including food security, the international community has acknowledged the urgent attention to preserve well-being and the future of those on the front-line of climate change threats.
A core topic across farming has for a long time been the usage of fertilsers and being a key supplier to UK agriculture of liquid fertiliser tanks, we were only too familiar that before the Paris deal, environmental targets relating to agriculture focused on key areas of farming to reduce methane emissions from livestock and further limit fossil fuel use for fuel and fertiliser. However, the Paris deal makes it clear that if this is to happen, it cannot be at the expense of agricultural productivity, being the basis for national and global food security.