Supergen Bioenergy Hub response to Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee inquiry into agriculture, achieving net-zero emissions
Supergen Bioenergy Hub, EBRI, Aston University
The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee inquiry examines how agriculture can achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 whilst maintaining food production. It will also look at how those affected in farming communities can be supported through the transition fairly.
The committee invited written submissions in response to its terms of reference. The Supergen Bioenergy Hub has submitted the response below.
- How could 20% of UK agricultural land be repurposed to increase forest cover, restore peatlands, implement catchment-sensitive farming and enable agricultural diversification, whilst maintaining current levels of food production?
Bioenergy and other industrial crops can provide renewable sources of heat, power, liquid transport fuels including for hard-to-decarbonise sectors such as shipping and aviation, bio-based materials and platform chemicals. In other words, plant biomass can provide a wide range of fossil fuel alternatives. However, bioenergy crops can also contribute to greenhouse gas removal if they are used to make products such as building materials or where bioenergy production is combined with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). In addition, there is the potential of in-field carbon sequestration if the bioenergy crop is planted on soils where the carbon content has been degraded.