Farmers are ready to play their part in meeting challenging climate targets set by the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021, IFA president Tim Cullinan has said.
“The Government must recognise Ireland’s position as a world leader of sustainable food production. We must balance achieving environmental targets with the sector’s competitive role in producing high-quality, nutritious food at a reasonably low cost,” he said.
“Farmers are already doing a lot, and the sector has a roadmap set out as part of the Teagasc MAC Curve. They have invested over €80m in low-emission slurry spreading (LESS) equipment, while sales of protected urea have more than doubled in 2020. With the right supports and incentives, farmers will continue to play our part in the national effort by improving the carbon efficiency of our output,” he said.
“However, the Government must not underestimate the scale of the challenge. Farmers must be supported as they transition to a more sustainable agricultural sector to meet the targets. Farming must be treated fairly in the climate mitigation debate.
“Current Government policy does little to reward farmers for the role they are currently playing in sequestering carbon with the sole focus on emissions. IFA will not allow Irish farm families to be blamed for inaction in other areas.”
Cullinan welcomed the acknowledgement in the revised bill of methane’s cyclical nature in greenhouse gas emissions accounting methodology.
“The Climate Action Bill must follow the New Zealand model and ensure that methane is treated differently from other emissions,” he said.