An Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that the €1.5bn carbon fund gives the Government “the resources to help and support farmers in respect of a range of environmental schemes”, that are separate to schemes under the CAP.
He was responding to a query from Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith who said “the farming community wants a clear message that the national co-financing commitments that were made will be honoured over the next number of years and that the €1.5bn from the carbon tax fund will be allocated to the farming sector”.
In response, An Taoiseach said that commitments made will be followed through on.
“Deputy Brendan Smith's point about national co-financing will pertain and the commitments made will be followed through on.
“Many parties in this house objected to and opposed the €1.5bn carbon fund but it gives us the resources to help and support farmers in respect of a range of environmental schemes, separate to the environmental schemes that are being provided under the aegis of the Common Agricultural Policy.”
Many parties in this house objected to and opposed the €1.5bn carbon fund but it gives us the resources to help and support farmers
“I accept the deputy's point that Irish farming has been one of the more progressive food production systems in reducing emissions, when compared to many other food production systems across Europe and the world,” he said.
The Taoiseach said that Ireland’s dairy and beef industries are among the top performers in terms of their capacity to reduce emissions.
“That said, the challenges of climate change mean we have to do more. We want to work with and support the industry to enable that to happen.
“The carbon fund gives us room to allocate additional funding in that regard, as do the national co-financing mechanisms,” he said.