Net Zero Agriculture – A Survey to investigate the potential Engineering and Physical Sciences contribution

tractor pulling harvesting machinery through a field

The Agriculture sector currently contributes 9% all UK emissions[i]. Emissions range from agricultural soils to field burning of wastes to stationary and mobile combustion[ii] .

This survey has been launched to help the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) understand how engineering and physical sciences research can support the attainment of Net Zero Agriculture for the UK. 

Engineering and physical sciences research includes fundamental and applied research into chemistry, engineering, information and communications technologies, materials, mathematical sciences, physics, manufacturing, energy and digital economy.

We welcome contributions from all relevant stakeholders – including academics, business, national and regional government.  Net Zero Agriculture will inevitably overlap with other sectors and contributions that intersect with land use or transport for example are welcomed.

EPSRC are working closely with colleagues across UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to ensure a co-ordinated approach.  We anticipate engineering and physical sciences will reinforce research already underway across UKRI and will introduce technologies and theories which will mitigate emissions from this sector and improve the transition to net zero.

The survey is essentially looking for answers to the following:

  • What are the research challenges in achieving Net Zero in the Agriculture sector?
  • What contribution can EPS research make in addressing these challenges?
  • Who are the key stakeholders – academic/business/government and other?

The survey will be open until early September, which we hope will provide an opportunity for a range of participants to engage on this. The survey will help inform a workshop in September and EPSRC’s strategy for Net Zero Agriculture.

We look forward to your contributions.

[i] The UK total includes emissions from International aviation and shipping 

[ii] CCC (2019) Net Zero - Technical Support