National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

04 July 2020

NFYFC is launching a new challenge, supported by Defra, to encourage positive climate change action by asking young farmers to share their solutions for reaching net zero emissions by 2040.

Working with industry partners, including the National Farmers Union (NFU) and Championing the Farmed Environment (CFE), the challenge puts YFC members and next generation farmers in charge of their future by becoming a climate change advocate for the industry and the UK.

The challenge involves sharing ideas or practical examples – that might already be in use – to help reach the NFU’s ambition of achieving net zero emissions by 2040. Judges aren’t looking for a final polished solution but want to hear thoughts on future mitigation methods for any farming and growing sectors or machinery development. 

Topics to consider include on-farm applications for carbon capture and storing, auditing, energy efficiency and renewable on-farm energy.

So many people are already playing their part to help enhance the environment and tackle climate change.  British agriculture plays a key role and it is hoped that young farmers can show how committed the industry is towards the changes needed.

NFYFC’s YFC AGRI Chairman George Baxter said: “By taking part in the video challenge, YFC members and next generation farmers can play an active part in helping to achieve the net zero ambition, share ideas and most importantly, have their voices heard in high places.

“I would encourage those entering to be creative, bold and brave. If you have ideas for the future that you’d like taking seriously, start filming and get ready to share.  As we emerge from the current Covid-19 restrictions, you could be representing the voice of UK young farmers at home and internationally.”

The government has set a target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and the NFU also has an industry ambition for British agriculture to reach net zero by 2040. The NFU is working with farmers and growers to help them move forward towards this ambitious target, focusing on a range of measures including improving farming’s productive ef¬ficiency, capturing more carbon on farmland and boosting renewable energy and the wider bioeconomy.

NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts said: “We are at a moment in time when both the world and our nation are facing a great many challenges. The impacts of climate change are arguably one of the greatest challenges, but it also presents an opportunity for British agriculture to showcase real leadership when it comes to sustainable farming. This is precisely why we have set an ambition for British farming to be carbon neutral by 2040.

“Our young farmers are going to be crucial in helping to steer the industry and the country towards a net zero future. More than ever we need new ideas and we need to create an environment for everyone’s voice to be heard.

“I encourage all our young members to get involved and be ambitious, and take a leading role in the future of climate-friendly farming.”

There are no strict criteria for the challenge, just guidelines to enable entrants to be imaginative and help to communicate their vision of a sustainable future. To enter, participants need to create a short video that demonstrates action or plans, such as:

  • Showing what you are doing already to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It’s fine if it’s the start of your journey – share plans, ideas or actions.
  • Showing what more you plan to do, or what you would like to do.
  • Explaining what you think is needed to reach net zero – for a business, a rural community, a country or globally.
Winners will be invited to spend a day at the NFU’s headquarters (this will be a remote visit if social distancing restrictions are still in place) to talk with members of the climate change and communications teams.  Winners will also have the opportunity to share their ideas with international climate change policy makers at next year’s COP26 in Glasgow.

Following on from the competition, the ideas will be used to help create a bespoke YFC guide in conjunction with the CFE for future club activity and to share important environmental messages with farming and rural enterprises.  The aim is to highlight the work at future climate change and industry events to ensure young people's thoughts and ideas are represented.

Entries for the challenge close on 30 July 2020 and should be sent to sarah.palmer@nfyfc.org.uk. If videos exceed 10MB, they can be submitted via NFYFC’s Facebook page on a private message. For more information visit here.


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