IFA President Tim Cullinan has strongly criticised the ‘forked tongue’ approach of the EU when it comes to climate action and CAP policy.
Reacting to new EU climate law proposals published today, he said, “seeking to drive increased climate ambition while at the same time proposing to cut the CAP budget by 14% is a complete contradiction. The Commission need to get real and realise that they cannot expect farmers to do more and more for less and less”.
The proposed climate law which seeks to place a legal obligation on Member States including Ireland to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 uses language such as ‘this transition must be just and inclusive, leaving no one behind’.
“These words ring hollow, with the European Commission currently proposing to cut farm payments while imposing more regulations and additional costs,” he said.
The IFA President says that there are also now significant issues regarding how this ‘climate neutrality’ will be determined. “At present, the way methane is accounted for does not reflect the up to date science and farmers are not getting credit for the carbon sequestrated in their pastures and hedgerows.”
IFA has also said that the European Commission must take account of the international position on climate action, with the Paris Agreement clearly stating that climate targets must be achieved ‘in a manner that does not threaten food production’.
“The silence by the European Parliament on this issue in their proposed climate law is incredible, given that food security remains a real geo-political risk, with the world currently having just over three months’ stocks of cereals,” he said
21 02 2020
IFA Deputy President Brian Rushe said the Department of Agriculture should set up information clinics to farmers, where necessary, about the online application process for the Basic Payment Scheme.
Speaking as he arrived in Brussels this morning, IFA President Tim Cullinan said any cut in the CAP budget would be a devastating blow for Irish farmers and rural Ireland.
“We have made it clear to the Taoiseach, who will be at the EU Council meeting today that Ireland must be prepared to veto this proposal and reject any cut in the CAP,” he said.
“We are very concerned that the current uncertainty about the formation of the next Government is distracting from this vital EU Council meeting.”
“We are in Brussels today to continue our lobbying efforts against this devastating proposal,” said the IFA President.
“This is the most significant issue for farm families for the next decade and the Taoiseach must bring his complete focus to defending Irish farmers.”
“In fact, what is needed is an increased CAP budget to at least take account of inflation and any additional asks being placed on farmers.”
The CAP brings €1.8bn in EU funds to rural Ireland each year, which is a significant injection into the rural economy.
“The viability and sustainability of thousands of family farms will be threatened if these proposals, or anything like them, are adopted by member states” he said.
IFA President Tim Cullinan said that the leaked proposal of President of the European Council Charles Michel would be a huge blow for Irish farmers. It must be rejected by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the EU Council meeting next week.
Commission welcomed European Parliament’s approval of EU-Vietnam trade and investment agreements
The European Commission welcomed the decision by the European Parliament to approve the EU-Vietnam trade and investment agreements. The trade agreement will eliminate virtually all tariffs on goods traded between the two sides and will guarantee – through its strong, legally binding and enforceable commitments on sustainable development – the respect of labour rights, environmental protection and the Paris Agreement on climate. Commissioner for Trade, Phil Hogan, commented: “The EU-Vietnam agreement has a huge economic potential, a win for consumers, workers, farmers and businesses. And it goes well beyond economic benefits. It proves that trade policy can be a force for good. Vietnam has already made great efforts to improve its labour rights record thanks to our trade talks. Once in force, these agreements will further enhance our potential to promote and monitor reforms in Vietnam.” This is the most comprehensive trade agreement between the EU and a developing country. With the Parliament’s adoption yesterday, the Council can now conclude the trade agreement. Once the Vietnamese National Assembly also ratifies the trade agreement, it can enter into force, most likely in early summer 2020. A press release is available online. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: + 32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska – Tel.: +32 229 51383)
Read the European Commission – Daily News in full here