CLA writes to Huhne backing battle against climate change

24 October 2013

The CLA has written to Secretary of State for Climate Change Chris Huhne explaining why European landowners support a 30 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions in the fight to mitigate climate change.

The Association sent the letter to Mr Huhne offering encouragement for when he begins negotiating targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, following the agreement reached at the climate change conference in Durban on 11 December 2011.

CLA President Harry Cotterell said: "Containing climate change is in the interests of farmers and landowners because we are particularly exposed to its impact. Land management has a central role to play in adapting to climate change to ensure food and environmental security."

In the letter, Mr Cotterell wrote that the Association supports a 30 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions on 1990 levels by 2020,helped by the further development and promotion of renewable energy.

The letter drew Mr Huhne's attention to the role land managers could play in climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration, enhancing forest stocks and promoting renewables in the energy and construction sectors.

However, the CLA President acknowledged that this is unlikely to be fulfilled without more ambitious cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and "a higher carbon price".

Mr Cotterell wrote: "Climate change has serious implications for cropping, forestry, water resources and erosion, biodiversity and a rise in mean sea-level for coastal zones. CLA members are particularly vulnerable and we believe it is likely that any increase in the frequency of extreme events will have a disproportionate impact to changes in the mean."

Commenting on the letter, the CLA President added: "Land managers everywhere must maximise their contribution to the fight against climate change. We will continue to urge the Government and the EU to ensure that the role of land managers in this vital area is properly recognised."

Read the CLA President's letter to the Secretary of State in full.