Reacting to the publication of the Government’s Climate Action (Amendment) Bill, IFA President Tim Cullinan said that while meeting the targets will be a challenge; farmers are ready to play their part.
“Farmers are already doing a lot, and the sector has a roadmap set out as part of the Teagasc MAC Curve. With the right supports and incentives, farmers can continue to play our part in the national effort by improving the carbon efficiency of our output,” he said.
“However, one of the real frustrations for farmers is that they are getting no credit for the carbon they are sequestering on their farms. We need to look at the net carbon position on farms that takes into account carbon offset as well as carbon emitted,” he said.
He pointed to a report published today in New Zealand as evidence of what is being measured in a country with a similar demographic and farming profile to Ireland.
The report shows that NZ farms are offsetting substantial amounts of the carbon they are producing. This demonstrates what farmers in Ireland can do; if they are supported to adopt enhanced emission efficiency measures and are credited for the carbon, they are already sequestering in hedgerows.
Tim Cullinan welcomed the acknowledgement in the Bill of the cyclical nature of methane in GHG emissions accounting methodology.
“IFA has made this point strongly to Government and the IPCC over the past year. It is positive to see this being acknowledged, but we need the inventory calculations to be changed to reflect this. It is very frustrating to see the widespread scientific acknowledgement of the need to change the calculation system, but at the same time, we are told the system can’t be changed until 2030. This makes no sense” he said