The Soil Association has criticised the prime minister’s 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution.
The plan, which government has said will create and support up to 250,000 British jobs, covers clean energy, transport, nature and innovative technologies.
While the Soil Association has said that the plan is a step towards greater UK credibility in hosting the COP26 Climate Summit, it is quick to add that the failure to address how we produce our food is a big gap.
Food and farming is responsible for a large proportion of UK emissions and the association has highlighted that failing to recognise this in a climate plan is a missed opportunity to join up the dots between the current climate, nature and health crises.
“If we are going to make a real commitment for a green recovery in the UK, we can’t rely on a few press-worthy commitments,” says Gareth Morgan, head of farming and land use policy at the Soil Association. “We need system-wide change, and food and farming must be a joined-up climate priority.
“It would be wrong for the plan to rely on unproven carbon capture which will drive the diversion of food into biofuels and yet again, we hear more tree planting targets of 30,000 ha of trees per year – are these trees actually being planted? Well thought out tree planting on farms can be a win-win for climate, nature and health and the Soil Association supports these ambitions in our own 10-point plan.
“The UK is already well behind on the government’s own tree planting targets and it’s critical for nature and climate that the right trees are grown in the right places. Tree planting can and must play a vital role in a green recovery –agroforestry could support more resilient farming and help restore nature and health.”