Agriculture's private finance roadmap

The Green Finance Institute has published a Defra-commissioned roadmap of recommendations for Government to accelerate the transition to a low-emission and nature-positive agriculture sector – informed by an expert farming, finance and agrifood group.

The UK’s legally-binding commitment to meet net-zero emissions by 2050 requires the rapid decarbonisation of the entire economy. This includes the agriculture sector, which currently accounts for an 11 per cent share of GHG emissions in the UK, and s projected to rise to make up a 30 per cent share by 2030, as other sectors reduce emissions more quickly.

The UK’s Environmental Improvement Plan set out a vision to support a transformation in the management of 70 per cent of our countryside by incentivising farmers to adopt nature friendly farming practice.

Following consultation with over 75 stakeholders including the NFU, NatWest, Lloyds Bank, Tesco and Morrisons, the Financing a Farming Transition report has found that the private sector stands ready to invest in and support the farming transition. There is an understanding that farmers’ resilience underpins private sector business models, with three-quarters of UK FTSE All-Share firms ‘highly dependent’ on natural capital and resources.

The Environmental Land Management schemes in England will support farmers to transition to more sustainable means of food production alongside improving nature. However, to deliver a resilient and secure food system and meet the UK’s ambitious environmental and climate goals, which includes creating and restoring at least 500,000 hectares of wildlife habitat, farmers will need greater financial support.

The report identifies the barriers preventing private sector finance from moving at scale into the farming transition, including data, confidence, and implementation gaps.

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