Greens demand government invests in sustainable farming methods ahead of COP

10 April 2021

  • Natalie Bennett: “A flourishing ecosystem starts with healthy soils”


The Green Party is urging the government to invest in farming systems to minimise the agriculture sector’s carbon footprint and limit the damage done to wildlife.


The call comes ahead of the UK-led COP later this year which will be held in Glasgow and will be key to delivering climate action.


Natalie Bennett, Green Party peer in the House of Lords, said: 


“The government has adopted the principle of ‘public money for public good’, but Environmental Land Management Schemes (ELMS) are still sketchy, with experts expressing concern about their ability to actually improve practices. The long-delayed Environment Bill is also far too weak to deliver what is needed. There’s a risk that we could see small areas of the UK cosseted for, while highly destructive systems that destroy our soils, decimate our wildlife, pollute our air and waters, and feed into processed, unhealthy foods continue to occupy much of our countryside.


“A flourishing ecosystem starts with healthy soils- a rich ecosystem of fungi, bacteria and invertebrates which, when not destroyed by pesticides and artificial fertilisers, and well managed for pest reduction, is the basis of sustainable farming. 


“We also need to end the food waste of growing huge acreages simply to feed animals kept in horrendous conditions on factory farms, and produce far more of the vegetables and fruit that we need for a healthy diet. This provides a great opportunity for the development of large numbers of small businesses and cooperatives, producing food near to where it is eaten, strengthening food security and increasing prosperity in every community. 


“Green councillors are already supporting great projects to do that, including Community Supported Agriculture and urban food growing on allotments, community plots and gardens that can be another important source of food security while improving public and nature’s health. Greens have also been at the forefront of defending county farms- a crucial first rung on the ladder for many farm businesses.”


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