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Media briefing: Farming can be a climate change solution, so why is it missing in action at COP26?

Our planet is at a tipping point. Climate change threatens all our futures if we do not act now. All sectors must look at their impact, and agriculture is no exception. Agriculture is currently responsible for up to one quarter of all emissions globally. Current industrial farming practices are major contributors to escalating climate change and nature loss – this must urgently be addressed.

But farming is also unique. Not only could it reduce emissions through more sustainable practices, it also has the potential to remove carbon from the atmosphere and become perhaps the biggest nature-based solution to climate change. In addition, sustainable farming can restore nature and deliver healthy food from resilient food systems. These issues – climate, nature and health – are interlinked and should not be treated in silos.

So why is food and farming not on the agenda of COP26? As talks begin in Glasgow, there is a risk that governments could be missing a major opportunity.

“Agriculture could play a central role as part of the solution to climate change, not only by reducing emissions but by sequestering carbon in the soil. Yet, at present, the scale and importance of this potential seems to have gone largely unrecognised by global leaders. In order to harness the potential of agriculture to address climate change, we need a global farm metric that measures our impacts, we need trade agreements that are conditional on sustainability and we need to acknowledge the role of soil and grassland as a major carbon sink.” Patrick Holden, Chief Executive of the Sustainable Food Trust.

We believe the following three issues are key to harnessing the power of agriculture as a solution to climate change:

1. Global Farm Metric

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