Young farmers challenged to find net zero solutions

Young farmers are being challenged to come up with ideas on how the UK agricultural industry can reach its goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040.

The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) is launching the climate change challenge, supported by Defra, the NFU and Championing the Farmed Environment (CFE).

The initiative puts YFC members and next generation farmers in charge of their future by becoming a climate change advocate for the industry and the UK. 

See also: How growers can help farming become carbon net zero 

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 on greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, 10 years ahead of the UK government’s target.

The NFU is working with farmers and growers to help them move towards this ambitious target, focusing on a range of measures including improving farming’s productive ef­ficiency, capturing more carbon on farmland and boosting renewable energy and the wider bioeconomy.

Climate mitigation

Judges are not 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 storage, auditing, energy efficiency and renewable on-farm energy.

NFYFC 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.”

NFU deputy president Stuart Roberts added: “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.”

How to enter the challenge

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:  

  • Show 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.
  • Show what more you plan to do, or what you would like to do.
  • Explain what you think is needed to reach net zero – for a business, a rural community, a country or globally. 

The winning ideas will be used to help create a bespoke YFC guide with the CFE for future club activity and to share important environmental messages with farming and rural enterprises.

Winners will also have the opportunity to share their ideas with international climate change policy makers at next year’s COP26 in Glasgow.

Entries close on 30 July and should be sent to sarah.palmer@nfyfc.org.uk. If videos exceed 10MB, they can be submitted via NFYFC’s Facebook page oasn a private message. For more information see www.nfyfc.org.uk/isolationchallenge-climate.