Weekly events blog: 28-29 November | IPT

Regenerative Agriculture: A Path Towards Sustainable Food Systems

On Tuesday 28 November 2023 the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a breakfast event for parliamentarians and industry representatives on ‘Regenerative Agriculture: A Path Towards Sustainable Food Systems’. This discussion was chaired by Sir Robert Goodwill MP, Chair, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, with guest speakers James Young, VP of Agriculture, McCain Foods and Dr Ulrich Schmutz, Professor for Organic Horticulture and Ecological Economics, Coventry University.

Key discussion points:

  • Regenerative agriculture is essential to get right, not just for agriculture itself, but also for biodiversity and the future viability of the countryside.
  • Organic growing generates less yield, about 25% less, bringing about the challenges of ensuring that demand is met without having to increase reliance on imports from countries such as Brazil who engage in environmentally degrading practices.
  • Despite opportunities to develop regenerative agriculture, it is often met with resistance from growers, particularly due to an estimated 5-year period after the transition before yield will increase. Farmers are not comfortable with this. There is an opportunity for government to assist in this financial transition.
  • The primary reason for a return in Regenerative Agricultural practices is technology. Investment in new technology that enables regenerative agriculture to be efficient and effective is needed. Now such investment is largely lacking.
  • There is a need for greater clarity and momentum to convey the necessity of this change.


Energy Security Strategy: Advancing Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage

On Wednesday 29 November 2023 the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a breakfast event for parliamentarians and industry representatives on ‘Energy Security Strategy: Advancing Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage’. This discussion was chaired by David Duguid MP, Vice-chair, Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage Group, with guest speakers Richard Gwilliam, UK BECCS Programme Director at Drax Power Limited and Professor Jon Gibbins, Centre Director at UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre at the University of Sheffield.

Key discussion points:

  • Successful Carbon Capture and Storage will be vital to achieving net zero targets.
  • The UK should have a global leadership role in CSS, but other nations have caught up. CCS in countries such as US, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands are examples to look at.
  • Securing pipelines is the biggest challenge. Could there be a role for government involvement in transportation and storage? Also, is there a role for a non-commercial body with oversight over UK CCS?
  • Access is also a key barrier. We need policy change to improve CCS uptake from big emitters and provide access to storage for industry. Shipping and rail are important to getting things started whilst pipelines remain a challenge.
  • There should be investment in anticipatory pipelines to drive growth and incentivise investment.