The government published their Clean Air Strategy on the 14th January 2019 which sets out a “bold new goal” to reduce tiny but damaging particles across much of the country by 2030. The strategy has been implemented following air pollution being pegged as the top environmental risk to human health in the UK and the fourth greatest threat to human health overall.
How will it affect farmers?
The strategy itself has multiple aims, targeting practices in both households and industries known to contribute to high pollution levels. Regarding the agriculture sector, the industry has been targeted due to their sector accounting for 88% of UK emissions of ammonia, which is produced through everyday practices such as spreading manures/slurries and the application of inorganic fertilisers.
The government has pledged to help farmers reduce their ammonia emissions by helping to improve current practices, implement new regulations and minimise pollution in the long-term.
What support will be in place?
Whilst the finer details of the intended level of support are not yet clear, there are implications that farmers will be supported financially in their move to cleaner pastures. It’s likely there will be a requirement for farmers to make an investment in their infrastructure and practices in order to reduce emissions.
Farmers will now be equipped with a National Code of Good Agricultural Practice (COGAP) to help reduce their ammonia emissions and can expect a series of new regulations to come into play in the coming years.
Is it time to make some changes?
To get ahead of the game, it may be worth checking your equipment and actions against the code set out and retrospectively begin to make any changes required to reduce your emissions.
When you make any major changes, remember that you will need to revisit your insurance as your policy may not extend fully to protect you in accordance with the changes made.