IFA President Tim Cullinan said the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue must push back on any attempt to introduce a ceiling above 22%. This is an acid test for the Minister who must stand up for our sector.
The measures in the current Climate Action Plan are designed to achieve a 22% reduction in agricultural emissions by 2030.
“A target of 30% would result in significantly reduced production which could devastate the farming sector in Ireland. The Government has done no research whatsoever on what the implications of a 30% ceiling would be for Irish agriculture, the rural economy or what impact it would have on food production. They are operating in a vacuum,” he said.
Tim Cullinan said there needs to be a full economic and social impact assessment before imposing ceilings. A 30% reduction would be likely to lead to carbon leakage and an increase in global emissions, as production will move to other countries with weaker climate policies.
“The Government is required to take this into account in the Climate Act, but they are choosing to ignore it. They are also disregarding the potential impact on food security. Irish farmers are embracing measures to reduce emissions and there are significant scientific developments on feed additives and other technologies, but it will take time,” he said.
Everyone in society will have to adjust their lifestyle as a result of these ceilings, but farmers will also see a direct impact on their livelihoods.