Lantbrukarna och klimatet
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As a consequence of climate change, agriculture needs to adapt – not only to altering conditions, but also in order to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions. Successful change is dependent on many factors and parties, but relies heavily on individual farmers’ attitude towards the impact of climate change as well as their own knowledge and perceived capacity to adapt operations. This report presents results from a survey aimed to study farmers’ attitude and knowledge regarding climate change, in addition to their present and possible future actions in order to adapt operations to a changing climate.
More than six out of ten farmers considered themselves to have a high climate awareness, and a corresponding share also expressed a personal responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Awareness also appeared to have a major impact on the attitude towards other survey questions, where farmers declaring a high awareness also exhibited a more positive attitude to climate change adaptation. In contrast to the high awareness, only about a quarter of the respondents considered their own operations to be at risk of being affected, although a higher share of younger farmers regarded this as a risk than older did.
The interest in adapting their own operations in response to a changing climate was high. Meanwhile, financial factors such as increased customer demand and willingness to pay for climate friendly products were considered of high importance in order to increase the will to adapt.
Reduced energy consumption and decreased leaching of nutrients were considered the most important factors to reduce farmers’ own climate impact. In contrast, the most commonly performed actions to reduce impact were material recycling, change to low-energy light sources and more efficient driving – all relatively simple measures without a need for major investments. A high proportion of farmers also reported difficulty in reducing their own greenhouse gas emissions, while about 40 percent saw a good potential for increasing energy efficiency.
Fewer than half of the farmers had knowledge of their own most important source of greenhouse gas emissions, while about a quarter of the farmers stated that they knew how to reduce their own emissions. Less than 30 percent considered themselves to have good access to information of how to reduce emissions and nearly 80 percent deemed agricultural trade press as their major source of such information.