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Embedding sustainability and resilience in the Scottish agricultural sector – COP26 and beyond

30 November 2021

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), which is the biggest international climate conference globally, was being held in Glasgow earlier this month. It was the first time since the COP21 Paris Agreement in 2015 that governments submitted new greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets. With agriculture a key focus of the Scottish Government’s Update to the Climate Change Plan 2018 – 2032 and accounting for 15.7% of Scotland’s GHG emissions in 2019, farming has an important role to play in helping reduce Scotland’s emissions. In its plan, the Scottish Government has pledged to ‘support farmers, crofters and agricultural businesses to cut their emissions to the lowest level possible’[1].

Rising to the challenge of reducing Scotland’s agricultural emissions requires farmers and crofters to understand how they are performing now and what options are open to them to adopt more sustainable practices in the future. There are two aspects to this:

  1. Adapting to Scotland’s changing climate including unpredictable weather events.
  2. Adopting more climate friendly farming practices to reduce emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change.

An Integrated Land Management Plan (ILMP) provided through the Farm Advisory Service (FAS) can help Scottish farmers, crofters and land managers to do these things, and find their way to a sustainable and profitable future. An ILMP can help you set out a clear vision for your farm or croft by providing a clear, achievable, step-by-step action plan that will help you achieve your goals.

FAS can help farming businesses access up to 80% of the total cost of consultancy support (up to a maximum of £1,200), for a professional farm adviser to carry out an ILMP on behalf of the participatory business. This typically includes:

  • An assessment of strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats as they relate to your vision for your business.
  • A basic habitats, biodiversity and conservation review.
  • A financial performance analysis.
  • A cross-compliance assessment to highlight where there may be risk areas for the business.

In addition to the ILMP, you can choose to benefit from up to two further specialist advice plans, for which funding is also available.

For more information or to apply for business resilience support, please visit

To receive a hardcopy application pack, please contact FAS by calling 0300 323 0161 or emailing


On a white background sits a characteristic image of a globe with the words UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 in partnership with Italy. The image has been produced by the US Embassy.

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