November 2007: Eighty-one per cent of farmers in England believe the global climate is changing – and 70 per cent believe these changes offer them business benefits.
The survey by Farming Futures finds more farmers now believe climate change is of benefit to their business. Farmers cited longer growing seasons, warmer weather, new crops and new markets as benefits. Many are growing exotic crops such as grapes, olives and walnuts, as well as biofuel to supply energy markets, showing that they see climate change as an opportunity rather than a threat.Attitudes towards climate change were researched by surveying 385 farmers across England. This is the second of three surveys undertaken by Farming Futures and it found:53 per cent of farmers are already affected by climate change;62 per cent expect to be affected in the next ten years;49 per cent feel they can personally help limit climate change;50 per cent are improving their energy efficiency;70 per cent believe climate change offers benefits;24 per cent are interested in measuring their on-farm emissions.Peter Kendall, President of the National Farmers Union, said: “Our message to farmers now is to keep up the good work. We know that over 60 per cent are taking action on their farm to combat climate change. But this is no time to be complacent – there is still more to be done.“The climate is central to the success of our businesses and our industry. Adapting to and mitigating climate change is about reducing risk and costs, not just about saving the planet.”