NFU raises some concerns about Ottawa greenhouse gas reduction plan

The National Farmers Union says Ottawa’s 2030 emissions reduction plan has some flaws.

In some cases, the NFU says the federal government has taken some large strides, including a commitment to work with farmers to reduce emissions from fertilizer use by 30 percent.

However, NFU climate committee Chair Stuart Oke is concerned Ottawa is projecting only a small decrease in total agricultural emissions between now and 2030.

He also sees a misstep by ramping up biofuel production and a focus on speculative agri-technologies that benefit large corporations, risk farmer techno-entanglement, and seem unlikely to reduce emissions.

He says the federal plan appears only to see a slight decrease in actual agricultural emissions, from 73 million tons carbon dioxide equivalent in 2019 to 71 million tons in 2030.

He says farmers want to do more and a 20 percent reduction should be possible by 2030 if there is adequate government

He says farm groups are working out details of effective on-farm actions and government policies that could result in large reductions.

NFU director of climate crisis policy, Darrin Qualman, suggests a need for wetland protection, retention of trees and shelterbelts, set-aside programs, and the transitition of marginal land to protected status.

He sees a pressing need to protect parts of the farm landscape rich in carbon and biodiversity.

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