Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

Realising our climate change goals is a key part of the move to a green economy, critical to protecting vulnerable bio-diversity, domestic and global food supplies and supporting resource efficient and sustainable growth. Defra’s key priorities in supporting the Government’s climate change and energy agenda are to:

  • Drive sustainable emission reductions in the sectors for which Defra has responsibility, principally: agriculture, waste and forestry
  • Support the sustainable deployment of low carbon and renewable energy

Defra supports low carbon innovation through its wide portfolio of research and delivery programmes such as the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) aimed at achieving further emissions reductions and better resource efficiency in sectors like agriculture, food, forestry and waste. Examples include a £12m multiyear project aimed at improving our understanding of greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural production systems. Defra also have projects aimed at better understanding emissions from landfill and optimising energy production from waste plant.

To better facilitate the sustainable transformation of the energy sector we are monitoring the way the UK’s bio-resources are being used by the bioenergy sector. Defra is working with Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the Research Councils and other partners to establish a multi-year research programme to identify how the transition to a low carbon energy system can be made in a sustainable way. Defra also co-sponsors the National Contact Point for Eco-Innovation and Industrial Bio-Technology with the Technology Strategy Board, helping to bridge the gap between research, innovation and the marketplace.