Delivering clean growth through sustainable intensification

Project Details


To meet the challenge of achieving the UKs commitment of Net Zero by 2050 under the Climate Change Act and Nationally Determined Contribution target under the Paris Agreement, and other commitments such as the 25 Year Environment Plan, there is need to identify and evidence the best options to reduce GHG emissions from agriculture. Agriculture is a small but significant contributor to UK greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The sector currently accounts for around 10% of total UK emissions, but this figure is rising as the rest of the economy decarbonises. Most GHGs from agriculture arise in the form of methane and nitrous oxide, with carbon dioxide from fuel and energy use accounting for less than 10% of the total. As such, there are no ‘easy wins’ from improvements in energy generation and transport efficiency for agriculture, but there is potential to reduce emissions by improving resource efficiency on farms, implementing novel technologies, and through changes to land management.

The Delivering Clean Growth through Sustainable Intensification project was commissioned to better understand mitigation methods which could help English farming to meet climate and productivity targets in the future, with lessons for other UK farming communities.
The scope of this work was to identify the most promising technology bundles for adoption on farm and then assess their feasibility and acceptance within the farming industry and their suitability for application within England’s diverse farm context. The objectives of this work were to:

1) Identify the most promising greenhouse gas mitigation approaches with the highest technical potential
2) Refine these approaches through the lens of social acceptance and farm level testing in order to ensure uptake of the most feasible technologies
3) Define feasible trajectories for English farming up to 2050 (with lessons for other UK farming communities) under 3 mitigation scenarios
4) Establish mechanisms for policy intervention to meet 2050 GHG goals for English farming systems (with lessons for other UK farming communities)
Effective start/end date8/10/1831/05/21


  • UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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