Ambitious targets are needed for Ireland to address climate action and protect farmers from the effects of increased drought and flooding as a result of climate change, Macra president Thomas Duffy has said.
Duffy was speaking in relation to the publication of the Climate Action Bill and welcomed that the bill included the specific lines about considering “the special economic and social role of agriculture” and “the risk of substantial and unreasonable carbon leakage”.
“Ambitious targets are needed for us to address climate action and protect our farmers from the effects of increased drought and flooding as a result of climate change, but the role of agriculture in this is different to energy or industry.
“It would be very easy for political calls to reduce agricultural emissions here by simply outsourcing them to other countries with lower environmental sustainability like Brazil.
“This has happened in manufacturing. The recognition of the risk of this to food production is vital. We will hold the Government to account if the promise to prevent this is weakened,” he said.
The bill also outlines that the Government plans to recognise the characteristics of biogenic methane in reference to the Special Report on Global Warming by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in October 2018.
Biogenic methane is methane from livestock.
“How to treat methane in inventories is a vital element of agricultural climate action. It is good to see the Government recognising the best science by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” Duffy said.