Countryside COP October 2021

25 August 2021

Nottinghamshire landscape

Countryside COP 2021: What a week it was!

7 days. 24 events. Both UK and international audiences.

The week of 11-15 October saw the first ever UK Countryside COP, a showcase for how the rural economy is responding to climate change. Scheduled a few weeks ahead of COP26, the events highlighted the need for a just transition to net zero and a resilient society which is both economically and socially fair, leaving no one behind.

24 organisations held workshops. From universities to international farming organisations, the programme offered a wide range of topics from renewables to a just transition and greenhouse gas accounting. There was solid interest from audiences which included TV, radio and print media.

Countryside COP is also on YouTube hosting a series of videos from countryside leaders about their hopes for COP26 and the importance of climate change.

You can find the YouTube channel here.

Many from within the agricultural community have given their time to be involved, to name just a few: Minette Batters from NFU, Patrick Holden from Sustainable Food Trust, Edwin Poots the Northern Ireland Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Caroline Drummond from LEAF, Melanie Welham from BBSRC.

Many of the sessions are now online to watch again on the Countryside COP Calendar.

The next step will be to bring together the key messages from the week and present these to policymakers at COP26.

The Agriculture and Land Use Alliance is a cross-industry group of organisations united by the goal of facilitating widespread action on the ground which can underpin the key role agriculture can play in delivering the UK’s net zero ambition.

You can read the recommendations that were collated at the end of Countryside COP here!

A few highlights:

NOMAD: Mobile Digestate Management – Supporting the Future of Sustainable Farming: We learned about mobile treatment unit, NOMAD which turns anaerobic digester waste into organic fertiliser. How should we value waste and achieve nutrient circularity?

Why farmers can be net zero heroes – Farmers are already doing a lot for net zero, but need the tools and rewards to have the confidence to change practice further. An average GHG footprint figure disguises huge variations in farming system.

Ensuring a Just Transition: Balancing farming and forestry – How the lure of opportunities from woodland planting is putting rural communities at risk.

GHG in arable and horticultural crops – Measures reducing your business GHG intensity will often increase profitability, and then there are co-benefits for biodiversity and water.

GHG accounting and action in the livestock sector – Agrecalc and NFU

Agri-supply industry on the case to net zero – There are many alternative inputs coming down the track, from home grown protein, gene-editing opportunities, insects, algae and feed additives.

Sugar beet and carbon: what we need to know – BBRO and NFU

Delivering net zero food – The University of Lincoln gave a whistlestop tour of technology that could transform farming, from automated weed control, to fine scale monitoring and precision application, and EV wheel-hubs.

Tomorrow’s farmers rising to today’s climate challenge – NFYFC and YOUNGO

International Roundtable for Farmers’ Organizations, exchange on COP26 messages – Agricord and Forest Farm Facility

Resilience Solutions of farmers – Agricord and FAO

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