Reducing fertiliser use can cut Scotland's climate emissions

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland has today welcomed the announcement from the Scottish Government that it will include fertiliser planning within the Common Agriculture Policy’s (CAP) Greening rules in order to tackle climate change [1]. 
Agriculture and related land use is responsible for a huge 21% of Scotland’s total greenhouse gas emissions.  This is in large part due to fertiliser spreading [2]. 
The new rules will mean farmers and crofters will have to complete a fertiliser management plan and, in future, do regular soil testing of all land classed as permanent grassland. This covers 0.8million hectares of land across Scotland and will be part of the conditions associated with farmers and crofters receiving CAP subsidy payments.
Gail Wilson, Coordinator of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland said:
“This announcement shows that Government is taking seriously the need for all sectors of Scotland’s economy to tackle climate change and contribute to meeting the climate targets set out in the Climate Change Act [3]. 
“Planning fertiliser use is an essential first step for all farmers and crofters in the fight against climate change. Completing this Greening requirement will point farmers towards better farming practices, which reduce fertiliser use, lower carbon emissions and save the farmer money.  
“We also urge farmers of arable land to also annually plan their fertiliser use and tackle carbon emissions.” 
This new policy is in addition to a new package of climate measures announced yesterday [4] by the Scottish Government and welcomed by Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) [5]. The latest climate emissions figures for 2012 were also released yesterday [6] which showed for a third successive year the Scottish Government has failed to meet the targets set out in the Act. 
Notes to Editors:
[1] ‘Supporting rural Scotland” 
[2] Chemical fertiliser manufacture is a carbon intensive process, and surplus fertiliser which is not taken up by the plant breaks down and produces nitrous oxide (N2O), a powerful greenhouse gas. 
[3] Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009
[4] ‘Scotland on track for 2020 climate target’
[5] ‘Scottish climate efforts step up a gear’
[6] ‘Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions rise in 2012’
[7] Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) is Scotland’s largest civil society coalitions, with 60 organisations campaigning together on climate change. Its members include environment, faith and international development organisations, trade and student unions and community groups.

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