Farmers’ Union pledges more action to fight climate change


Already a top performer in Flanders in combatting their industry’s effect on climate change, the Farmers’ Union has promised continued work and improved results

Climate summit this week

Boerenbond, the largest union representing farmers in Flanders, has pledged itself to further efforts to combat climate change, in advance of the second Flemish climate summit due to take place in Ghent on Thursday.

Agriculture and horticulture are together responsible for 8% of Flanders’ greenhouse gas emissions – the cleanest of all sectors other than trade and services. Ordinary households emit more on 13%, while transport is responsible for 19%, energy for 24% and industry for 28%. In the period from 1990 to 2014, farmers cut their emissions by 26%.

“The progress achieved is not the end,” the union said in a statement. “We pledge to encourage and facilitate further efforts. We are sure that by strengthening our existing policy of support further progress can be made.”

During Flanders’ first climate summit last April, all sectors of the economy and decision-makers were asked to present a pledge detailing strategic goals and specific efforts to be made. Boerenbond’s pledge has been delivered to the Flemish government and will be presented at the next summit along with others.

“Boerenbond promises to work together with others on this initiative,” union president Sonja de Becker said. “In concrete terms, we will raise awareness among farmers and encourage them to make more of an effort. We will also keep on with support for studies, research and demonstration projects. We prefer to do it all in co-operation with other sectors, which improves the chances of success and real results. Above all, we will continue to devote the resources of our research fund for climate change research.”

Photo: Paul Van Galen/Wikimedia