Report finds biomass can play bigger role in United Kingdom energy production

Christopher Davidson
November 17, 2018

This includes increased tree planting, improved forest management, restoration of peatlands, and shifts to low-carbon farming practices, which improve soil and water quality.

The Committee on Climate Change's recommendations reiterated the findings of an Oxford University report released last month, finding the average global citizen needed to reduce their pork consumption by 90% and beef consumption by 75% to prevent further rises in temperature. Projections of future United Kingdom climate suggest further warming, sea level rise, periods of heavier rain leading to greater risks from flooding as well as reduced water availability in summer.

The report also urges ministers to join up previous "fragmented" and "incomplete" policies governing land use, claiming that profits from food production have historically been prioritised over environmental concerns.

Chris Stark, chief executive of the CCC, defended the committee's support for biomass, the use of which has been criticised on the ground that it swallows up land that would otherwise support agriculture or nature.

"Brexit offers the government the opportunity to introduce fundamentally new policies that will reward farmers for producing less greenhouse gases and for capturing carbon emissions". Farmers and land managers must have better access to information about the impacts of a changing climate.

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It adds the supply of sustainable biomass harvested from United Kingdom sources should also increase.

'As the CCC says, we need to free up land from agriculture by eating much less meat and dairy, and stop landowners burning and degrading peat bogs - our single biggest carbon store. "There are no silver bullets and we need a number of different technologies and approaches if we are going to be able to ensure a low carbon, low cost and sustainable way of heating our homes. We must also improve the resilience of the land to climate change", Lord Deben said.

"Land use policy is going to have to be fundamentally different than it has been since the war", he warned, saying the new Agriculture Bill drawn up as the United Kingdom leaves the European Union must carry numerous needed measures.

The new target, which has been proposed by the city's Climate Change Board, is in line with research carried out by the world-renowned Tyndall Centre for Climate Change.

"If the supply of biomass is more strictly governed, its use can be sustainable and it can play an essential role in reducing emissions, locking away carbon in plants and soils". "We'll look closely at this report's policy recommendations to ensure biomass continues to cut carbon emissions, support forests and stabilize the energy system long into the future".

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