HC Deb 17 July 1997 vol 298 cc282-3W
Mr. Martyn Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what research his Department has evaluated into the relationship between agricultural production and global climate change; and if he will make a statement. [8488]

Angela Eagle

UK emissions of greenhouse gases from agriculture are evaluated using research sponsored by my Department and by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

We estimate that, in 1995, UK agricultural production was responsible for about 1 per cent, 30 per cent. and 10 per cent, of UK emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide respectively. Agricultural land use change resulted in the release of a further 4 per cent. of total emissions of carbon dioxide. Together these emissions were equivalent to about 7 per cent. of the climate change impact of all UK greenhouse gas emissions in 1995. Land set aside from agricultural production removed an amount of carbon from the atmosphere equivalent to about 1 per cent. of UK carbon dioxide emissions in 1995.

Research evaluated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicates that emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide from global agricultural production and related land use change together account for about 34 per cent. of the climatic disturbance from current man-made greenhouse gas emissions.