Thursday, December 9, 2021
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Lockhart calls on Government to step up support for farming to hit climate targets

With COP26 in Glasgow focusing on emissions and the move to net zero, DUP MP Carla Lockhart has said that while farmers are already working hard to reduce emissions, to play their part in reaching ambitious climate change targets they will need financial support from Government.

Ms Lockhart said: “For local farmers, protecting the environment is not something new.

“Our industry has been working hard for many years to reduce their environmental footprint, with adaptations to farming methods across the industry introduced to reduce emissions.

“However, as is always the case, more can be done.

“Indeed, with the targets being set to reach net zero, more will have to be done.

“Farmers are up for being part of that journey, but that journey must be one where food production and environmental protection must go hand in hand, not head-to-head.

“As is always the case, there will also be a huge cost to the industry to meet targets.

“This is not a cost that can be borne by the farmer. It will be up to Government to provide the support needed and to assist the industry in reducing emissions.

“This will be investment in R&D, but also in on farm support.

“Furthermore, we cannot allow a situation to develop whereby our industry is striving to net zero at considerable cost, while imported produce can come from across the world where equal standards and environmental impact are not applied.

“COP26 has been positive in terms of the focus on this issue, but already we see some countries opting out of key agreements.

“I hope the Government will recognise the importance of food production to the local economy here and find that balance needed to sustain the jobs and economic benefit of the industry here.

“We need realism, and we need real support to reach targets, but also grow the sector.”

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