Although far behind the energy sector, agriculture – and livestock in particular – is the second single largest source of man-made greenhouse gas emissions in the EU-25.
Environment and agriculture ministers held a joint informal meeting on 11 September in London to discuss the impact of agriculture on climate change. This was the first time that such a meeting has taken place at EU level.
The ministers heard presentations by speakers on a number of topics, according to a press statement from the UK Department of Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Among other things, they were told that southern and central Europe was “likely to face great challenges in terms of water shortage and heat stress”.
On the brighter side, they were told that “the impacts of climate change on Europe’s farming and food industries may be less than the impact on the rest of the world.”
Climate change also offers a number of opportunities to farmers in terms of mitigation and adaptation policies, including cultivating the energy crops needed to produce biomass and liquid biofuels for transport.