Farming unions were “very disappointed” with how little presence the UK government gave agriculture at the recent COP26 climate change summit, UFU president Victor Chestnutt told an event at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) last Wednesday evening.

“It was also a lost opportunity to promote local quality food,” said Chestnutt in his opening remarks at the annual George Scott Robertson memorial lecture.

The lecture itself was delivered by Maggie Gill, a retired professor from the University of Aberdeen and former chief scientific adviser to the Scottish government, who described food and agriculture as “missing” from the COP agenda.

Professor Gill explained that was because it is a highly contentious subject, and one where countries are unlikely to find agreement.

She went on to argue for the need for drastic action to avert climate change, but pointed out that various governments cannot go too far ahead of the will of the people.

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