Climate-Driven Push for Land-Hungry Solar Farms Endangering UK Food Security

Solar arrays in a field generating electricity near Churchill in North Somerset. (Photo by
Craig Joiner/Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Britain’s climate-driven push for land-hungry solar farms is now risking the country’s food security, the head of the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons has warned.

Farmer and Conservative Party politician Robert Goodwill warned that the British government’s climate alarmist push for solar farms now risks endangering the security of farm supplies in the country, as farmers bow out of planting crops in favour of allowing their land to be used for so-called green energy production.

The warning comes as a combination of drought, inflation, and other pressures caused by the likes of the war in Ukraine put pressure on food supplies both in Britain and beyond, with farmers in the United Kingdom now reportedly struggling to turn a profit due to the rising cost of doing business.

According to Goodwill, such pressures have created a “perfect storm” for those in the industry, many of whom are now at least considering turning their farmland into rewilding locations or solar farms in the hopes of securing a more reliable income.

Such moves away from farming, however, are now putting the country’s supply of food at risk, with the Member of Parliament telling the BBC that Britain no longer has the luxury of easily sourcing food from abroad if things go wrong.

“In the past, we could turn to South America or Ukraine or the Far East to fill that gap, but at the moment we’re not getting those supplies coming,” Goodwill warned, emphasising that “hundreds of acres taken out of some of the best agricultural land” were now being taken out of food production to make way for solar farms.

The Tory party MP also warned that the country’s “rewilding” agenda, which involves the state paying farmers to abandon land used for farming to nature, could detrimentally impact supplies.

“I think we need to look very carefully at… things like rewilding,” Goodwill said during the interview. “Should we be taking whole farms out of production when we need the food here?”

Other parts of the government’s green agenda are also extremely problematic, the MP said, emphasising that the authorities need to examine a policy of reducing the domestic supply of food in service of lowering carbon emissions when such food is replaced by foreign produce that results in an even worse environmental outcome.

“If we’re planting trees here in the United Kingdom on agricultural land and sourcing those products from, say, Brazil, where we know President [Jair] Bolsonaro is not monitoring some of the clearances and fires that are happening there, is that going to have a general positive effect on the environment?” he asked, while also pointing fingers at palm oil made in the Far East, which he said is “not produced sustainably”.

“[W]e need to be very careful that we don’t let the law of unintended consequences come into play, so that actually the things we’re doing in this country to benefit the environment are more than offset, sadly, by things happening elsewhere around the world to fill that gap in the food that we need to import,” he added.

Goodwill also warned that food supply difficulties caused by the war in Ukraine may not subside anytime soon, with the lack of crops in the ground in the region, which is extremely important to the global supply of food, meaning that global supply chains will remain unstable.

The MP also warned that while Ukraine has once again been able to export food from ports on the Black Sea thanks to an agreement with Russia brokered by Turkey, such an arrangement could be very easily scuttled by a single missile strike on a protected part of a Ukrainian port or the sinking of a grain ship — something that would put the entire situation “back to square one”.

Ultimately, the MP argued that food production in Britain needs to be increased, saying that “people need to eat” and that the best way to ensure they do is to produce more domestically.

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