The way that methane emissions from the national herd are currently accounted for is not appropriate according to the president of the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) Tim Cullinan. He has also said that it must be addressed at international level by the Department of Agriculture.

Cullinan attended at the Ag-Climatise forum held by the Department of Agriculture on Wednesday, where he pointed to research carried out in the University of Oxford. In this research, Professor Frank Mitloehner found that methane is different to other greenhouse gases.


Chair of the Government’s Climate Advisory Council professor John Fitzgerald acknowledged that the way methane is currently accounted for is "probably not appropriate", but that this cannot be factored into the international accounting rules until 2030.

“The IFA will not be participating in this charade. If the science has evolved, then the rules have to change, and they must change now,” he said.

The IFA also want to change the way carbon sequestration is being accounted to include grasslands and hedgerows, along with the way the gases are being accounted for.

Carbon assessments

IFA environment chair Paul O’Brien, said: “Farming is not getting any credit for the carbon in our pasture and our hedgerows. This needs to be quantified. The clear responsibility lies with Teagasc to do the research and calculate how much Irish agriculture is storing.

Farmers are getting increasingly frustrated

“No other sector of society is as engaged in climate action, with over 250,000 carbon assessments now completed using the Bord Bia and Teagasc carbon navigator.”

He added that: “Farmers are getting increasingly frustrated that they are being scapegoated based on incomplete calculations, which is leading to them being wrongly vilified.”

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