Publication - Report

Climate Change Plan: monitoring report 2018

Published: 31 Oct 2018
Directorate:
Energy and Climate Change Directorate
Part of:
Environment and climate change
ISBN:
9781787813113

The first annual report monitoring progress towards Scotland's Climate Change Plan.

109 page PDF

1.7 MB

109 page PDF

1.7 MB

Contents
Climate Change Plan: monitoring report 2018
Agriculture

109 page PDF

1.7 MB

Agriculture

Greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture sector have already been reduced by 14% (1990 to 2016). The Climate Change Plan sets out policies and proposals to reduce emissions from this sector by a further 9% (2018 to 2032).

The Plan sets out the following five “policy outcomes” for the sector:

1. More farmers, crofters, land managers and other primary food producers are aware of the benefits and practicalities of cost-effective climate mitigation measures and uptake will have increased.
2. Emissions from nitrogen fertiliser will have fallen through a combination of improved understanding, efficient application and improved soil condition.
3. Reduced emissions from red meat and dairy through improved emissions intensity.
4. Reduced emissions from the use and storage of manure and slurry.
5. Carbon sequestration on agricultural land has helped to increase our national carbon sink.

The five overarching policy outcomes above remain the focus of the agricultural chapter of the Climate Change Plan. It is within these key areas that we continue to encourage farmers on the benefits of low carbon farming. However, what we should not lose sight of is that Scottish farmers also do a lot to contribute to the emissions reductions in the electricity generation, land use and forestry sectors. Since the final plan was published in February of this year we have;

  • Delivered on the commitment to establish an industry led agri-tech group.
  • Begun work with ClimateXChange, Scotland’s centre of expertise on climate change, on the development and commissioning of research into nitrogen flow models, carbon accounting tools and further work on the methodologies of emissions intensity as well as continuing to work with them on ongoing projects in agroforestry and leguminous crops.
  • Engaged publicly through the recent consultation “Stability and Simplicity proposals for a rural funding transition period” regarding possible roles for carbon auditing, soil testing, integrated land management plans and livestock health plans as we move forward.
  • Reiterated our commitment to taking forward the reviewing and renewing of Farming For a Better Climate and the establishment of young climate change champions which form part of the 2018-19 Programme for Government along with our commitment to take forward the research on nitrogen flow models.

Output Indicator For Policy Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4 And 5:

Our primary output indicator will be the level of emissions from the agriculture sector in the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory. This will be underpinned with a particular focus on soil testing and nutrient planning in Scotland.

Over the next few years we would expect:

A. A reduction in agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in the national inventory.

B. An increase in the share of farmers carrying out soil tests.

C. An increase in the share of farm completing nutrient management plans.

A. Most Recent Data: 7.8 MtCO2e in 2016.

Baseline Data: 7.74 MtCO2e 2015 data based on 2016 recalculations.

Change: 0.1 MtCO2e from 2015 to 2016.

Data Source(s): Scottish Greenhouse Gas emission statistics 2016[1].

B. Most Recent Data:

  • 64% of farmers surveyed carried out pH testing on other (arable) land in 2016.
  • 30% of farmers surveyed carried out pH testing on grassland in 2016.

Baseline Data:

  • 64% of farmers surveyed carried out pH testing on other (arable) land in 2016.
  • 30% of farmers surveyed carried out pH testing on grassland in 2016.

Change: N/A

Data Source(s): 2016 Scottish Survey of Farm Structure and Method[2].

C. Most Recent Data:

  • 42% share of farms surveyed completed a nutrient management plan on other (arable) land in 2016.
  • 17% of farmers surveyed completed a nutrient management plan on grassland in 2016.

Baseline Data:

  • 42% share of farms surveyed completed a nutrient management plan on other (arable) land in 2016.
  • 17% of farmers surveyed completed a nutrient management plan on grassland in 2016.

Change: N/A

Data Source(s): 2016 Scottish Survey of Farm Structure and Method[2].

On Track: Too early to make assessment.

Commentary:

It is currently too early to make an assessment of the progress that is being made on the output indicators.

  • Emissions statistics - greenhouse gas emissions are published two years in arrears and the statistics report in 2018 related to 2016 emissions. We are therefore unable to assess the impacts of the Climate Change Plan at this time.
  • Soil testing and nutrient management plans, within this first year we are setting our baseline with data that are available from the 2016 Scottish Survey of Farm Structure and Method. This survey is conducted and published on a 3 to 4 year basis with the next survey due circa 2019. Setting a baseline using the 2016 data will allow us to evaluate the changes in farming practices.

Implementation Indicator For Policy Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4 And 5:

The number of attendees at climate change-themed Farming for a Better Climate and Farm Advisory Service events, who rated them useful and have said they will put what they have learned into practice.

Most Recent Data: 717 attendees across some 46 Farming for a Better Climate and Farm Advisory Service events with around 93% of attendees rating the Farming for a Better Climate sessions sampled as useful, with an average of 67% attendees across all events saying they intend to make a change based on the information provided.

Data Source(s): The Farm Advisory Service[3] and Farming For a Better Climate[4].

Commentary:

It is too early to judge the implementation of the policies, proposals and milestones in the agricultural chapter of the Climate Change Plan given the short amount of time since it was published. Therefore, the above figure is being used to set a baseline that we can then evaluate against in the coming years in order to track the progress of implementation.

Implementation Indicator For Policy Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4 And 5:

Increase the uptake of free carbon audits provided through the Farm Advisory Service to 200 audits delivered per year by 2019.

Most Recent Data: 150 free carbon audits were delivered in 2017-18.

Data Source(s): The Farm Advisory Service[3].

Commentary:

It is too early to judge the implementation of the policies, proposals and milestones in the agricultural chapter of the Climate Change Plan given the short amount of time since it was published. Therefore, the above figure is being used to set a baseline that we can then evaluate against in the coming years in order to track the progress of implementation.

Implementation Indicator For Policy Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4 And 5:

Increase uptake of Integrated Land Management Plans (ILMPs) provided through the Farm Advisory Service to 300 ILMPs delivered per year by 2019.

Most Recent Data: 125 ILMPs were undertaken in 2017-18.

Data Source(s): The Farm Advisory Service[3].

Commentary:

It is too early to judge the implementation of the policies, proposals and milestones agricultural chapter of the Climate Change Plan given the short amount of time since its publication. Therefore the above figure is being used to set a baseline that we can then evaluate against in the coming years in order to track the progress of implementation.


Contact

Email: Decarbonisation Division