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Farmers hold the key to tackling the climate crisis-Farron

October 21, 2009 12:00 AM

Farmers hold the key to tackling the climate crisis according to Liberal Democrat Rural Affairs Spokesperson Tim Farron, who today challenged the government to help farmers in their role as stewards of the countryside by allowing them to produce more food.

Speaking today in the House of Commons during a debate on the Government's failure of leadership in the climate crisis, Mr Farron highlighted the environmental damage caused by importing large amounts of food from abroad.

Mr Farron urged the Government to reduce the huge levels of carbon emissions caused by the deforestation of the rainforest by expanding the UK's capacity to produce food.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"The Government's target of an 80% reduction in carbon emissions looks frankly ludicrous set against the ever expanding carbon emissions caused by the transportation of rapidly increasing amounts of food from overseas to our tables.

"Every ten minutes, an area of the Amazon rain forest the equivalent to 200 football pitches is chopped down to provide pasture land for cattle or to provide soy plantations to feed them.

"By producing both of these within the UK, we can slash foodmiles and ensure the preservation of the rain forest's crucial carbon sink.

"Farmers are on the frontline in the fight against climate change and have as much to lose as anyone from its devastating impact. That is why we must expand our capacity to produce food in the UK if we are to tackle the climate crisis."