Financing Decarbonisation in UK Agriculture

This partnership between UK CGFI, Oxford University’s Sustainable Finance Group and Barclays, is a first of its kind project to develop better emissions data and modelling methodologies for the UK agriculture sector, for use by financial institutions. Outputs from this project will help financial institutions set decarbonisation targets and develop targeted transition finance instruments to support clients lower emissions and transition to more sustainable farming practices.

The UK Climate Change Committee (CCC) sixth carbon budget report identified agriculture as one of the key sectors where progress in moving towards net zero has been slow and needs to accelerate. The agricultural sector contributes 10% (54.6 MtCO2e) to the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the UK (CCC 2020), and 17% of global total GHG emissions in 2018 (incl. related land use change, FAO 2019). It is also one of the most exposed sectors to physical climate-related risks and creates substantial environmental impacts, including biodiversity loss, water quantity and quality, soil degradation, air quality and natural resources depletion.

Decarbonisation of the agriculture sector is a priority given the criticality of a reliable food supply and its significant contribution to the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. However, it has proved difficult to track emissions consistently across the sector and define appropriate metrics – particularly at an individual farm-level. This project seeks to resolve this by establishing robust measurement approaches of greenhouse gas emissions at the farm-level and relevant decarbonisation pathways for the sector that are aligned to the goals and timelines of the Paris Agreement.