Government bid to tackle air pollution

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The government has launched an ambitious new strategy to clean up our air - which includes a commitment to support farmers’ efforts to tackle air pollution.

Agriculture is responsible for 88% of UK emissions of ammonia gas which can travel long distances, be damaging to the environment, and combine with other pollutants to form fine Particulate Matter pollution, which are harmful to human health.

The measures set out in the Clean Air Strategy will help cut the costs of air pollution to society by £1.7 billion every year by 2020, rising to £5.3 billion every year from 2030.

Farming Minister, George Eustice said: “Ammonia emissions can have a significant impact on the environment and on our health, and as custodians of the land, farmers have an important role to play in reducing them.

“Our future agriculture policy will involve financial rewards and incentives to help farmers reduce their ammonia emissions.”

Under the new strategy the Government will provide farmers with support to invest in infrastructure and equipment to reduce emissions and will work with industry to encourage low emission, holistic farming techniques.

Funding has been available through the Countryside Productivity Scheme to help farmers purchase manure management equipment including low-emission spreaders and the scheme is due to run again in 2019. Funding is also available through the Countryside Stewardship Scheme for slurry tank and lagoon covers for farmers in priority water catchments.

Full details of the measures which will be introduced to reduce emissions from farming can be found in the strategy document.