The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee inquiry opened on 31 July will examines how agriculture can achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 whilst maintaining food production. It will also look at how those affected in farming communities can be supported through the transition fairly. The inquiry closes for written submission on 30 September 2019.
This is clearly not a tourism specific consultation. However, given that much of the recent and historic diversification from food production to on-farm, non-food activity has involved diversification into leisure and tourism and given that many of the current off-set mechanisms cited for carbon reduction involve things like tree planting, peatland reclamation and other land use that arguably could have potential leisure and tourism benefits, there may well be a need to ensure that tourism is at least mentioned and considered in the select committee’s report? The National Trust, National Parks Authorities and other may be better placed to comment, as may some of the County and larger mixed urban and rural destinations?
If we receive any substantive comments from members these will be submitted within our own response. Otherwise a more general response highlighting the existing strong linkage between farm diversification and tourism, the potential economic and social benefits and the environmental challenges arising from diversification itself and the largely land use based off-set mechanisms currently in use.
The consultation can be accessed at: https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/environment-food-and-rural-affairs-committee/news-parliament-2017/agriculture-achieving-net-zero-emissions-inquiry-launch-17-19/