Reducing emissions from agriculture – new research published

Aerial images of crop fields in Midlothian. Photographer Barrie Williams. Copyright of Scottish Government.
Alan Robertson

A report from the Scottish Government's Agricultural Policy Division - 'Reducing emissions from agriculture – the role of new farm technologies' - was published this week (6 February 2023). 

The Scottish Government has committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2045 and its Climate Change Plan update requires the equivalent of a 31% reduction in agricultural emissions by 2032 from 2018 levels. Between 1990-2019 Scottish agriculture’s emissions decreased by only 13%. The uptake of new technologies and practices provides a means to meet reductions in greenhouse gases (GHGs) whilst balancing the need for food production.

This research identified and evaluated technologies which could offer carbon savings in Scottish agriculture which are not currently in use but could be brought to market within 20 years. A shortlist of technologies were explored in greater detail to identify candidates for accelerated development.

Using expert knowledge, state of the art literature reviews and scrutiny of patents databases, a 'long list' of 86 new technologies and technology areas was identified which may be applicable to Scottish agriculture if they were developed further and trialled within the Scottish context.

Find the report, including a of the list of identified technologies, here