THE NFU has hit out at government for effectively blocking a Private Members Bill designed to help combat climate change.

The Renewable Heat Obligation Bill was proposed by Mike Weir MP (Angus) and had the support of the NFU, Friends of the Earth and 200 MPs.

It suggested new legislation was needed to promote the use of renewable heat energy in the fight against global warming.

The Bill was aimed to encourage public facilities like hospitals, schools and private developments to utilise renewable energy heating systems.

NFU deputy president Peter Kendall said the government was challenging the world to tackle climate change, but was blocking domestic measures to support renewable energy.

“UK carbon dioxide levels actually rose in 2003 by 1.5%, and yet we see no coherent strategy to tackle this increase,” he said.
 
“No one is more aware than farmers of the very real effects of climate change and British agriculture is eager to help tackle this global problem through supplying carbon neutral biofuels for transport, and biomass for heat and electricity.”

Mr Kendall said with the right encouragement agriculture could provide significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.

“Incorporating the Renewable Heat Obligation into the government‘s housing development plan would have an enormously positive impact.

“We would like to see a significant percentage of the 120,000 new homes to be built each year until the year 2020 heated and powered by small-scale combined heat and power plants, powered by renewable energy.”