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June 16, 2009 12:00 AM
Originally published by Tim Farron

Speaking on the floor of the House of Commons yesterday evening, local MP Tim Farron proposed a ground breaking initiative that would boost farm incomes and help the battle against climate change.

Mr Farron's proposal would see large corporations offset their carbon emissions by paying farmers through a formal agricultural carbon trading scheme to invest in carbon capture. The maintenance and extension of peatland, woodland and other 'carbon sinks' would help to capture greenhouse gases. Already, farmers are at the forefront of the fight against climate change through their work maintaining the countryside. Mr Farron believes that its time to reward farmers for this work and give them opportunities to increase their income.

Many large companies fail to meet their carbon reduction targets and this would be a way of encouraging them to do so while ensuring that additional funds go into agriculture. These funds would have the advantage of not being tied up with the common agricultural policy, which means that we would have more freedom over how much people receive.

Speaking after the debate, Mr Farron said: "In maintaining our countryside, farmers already lead the way in tackling climate change - but they are not rewarded for this work. The new scheme would ensure that farmers receive fair pay for this work, but it would also give them the opportunity to step up their work on developing carbon sequestration which would both help in the fight against climate change and bring much needed funds into the farming industry."