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Reducing agriculture emissions is a big part of climate action and the wider energy transition. “Greenhouse gases” may well be a term straight out of the farmyard but the sector is struggling to rid itself of those polluting emissions, despite attempts to clean up farming.
Unlike power generation and transport, where much of the progress will be made simply by electrifying as much as possible and making sure there is enough renewable energy to fuel everything, agriculture has many more complex issues to contend with.
Replacing one pollution-generating process often means a trade-off with other environmental concerns, meaning farmers are often damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Add in factors like slim margins, inflation and cultural concerns and you realise the difficulty of the task ahead.
But improvements have been made and policies are being implemented to reduce farming’s climate impact. Progress may be slow but as initiatives like Europe’s Green Deal dig ever deeper furrows into how society goes about its business, focus is gradually shifting to the farmyard.
Expert journalist Gerardo Fortuna, who has spent years covering the EU’s attempts to regulate agriculture and co-hosts a weekly podcast on the farm and food sector, joins Sam Morgan for a chat about where farming fits into the energy transition puzzle. Topics include the Ukraine war, a shift in who wields political power in agriculture and how policies like the Emissions Trading System and the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism will affect farming’s future.
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