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The call comes as the house’s EU Committee publishes its report on adapting agriculture and forestry to climate change.

The Committee’s inquiry has focused on the European Commission White Paper, ‘Adapting to Climate Change: Towards a European framework for action’ which was published in April 2009.

The inquiry also highlights the need to ‘promote research and development’ into science and technology that will improve the countries responses to climate change.

The committee stresses ‘concern’ that, although the UK has continuing strengths in these areas, there has been a decline in the UK’s research capacity over the last 20 or more years.

Commenting on the report, Lord Carter, chairman of the sub-committee on environment and agriculture, said: “We see an important role, for the EU and for individual member states, in driving research forward, both into the science of climate change and its impacts, and into the technology that can help farmers and foresters with mitigation and adaptation.

“A strong EU research and development capacity related to climate change will provide a basis to transfer knowledge to other countries.

“The UK has historic strengths in relevant research areas which it needs to reinforce.

“But, while better research is needed, and EU funding can be better targeted, we are quite clear that governments must turn policies into specific help and guidance to farmers and foresters. Otherwise, EU proposals may never move from aspiration into reality.”

Luke Walsh

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