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In advance of the publication of the report from the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action this week, IFA President Joe Healy said that the Committee should include, as a key recommendation, the full implementation of the Teagasc climate roadmap for the sector.

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IFA Renewables Energy Chairman Tom Short has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed that the Department will allocate €10m to fund energy efficiencies and renewable energy technologies under TAMS. However, he said that Government’s piecemeal approach will not deliver on Ireland’s renewable energy targets.

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Following his address to the IFA AGM earlier this week, IFA Renewables Project Team Chairman Tom Short said Energy Minister Richard Bruton has to put farm scale & community projects at the heart of his renewables policy, rather than big business.

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Addressing the climate session on the 2nd day of the IFA AGM, IFA President Joe Healy said if Government is serious about addressing climate change and empowering farmers to participate, it should not force a farmer out of an enterprise. It should be about creating economically and environmentally sustainable options for farmers to increase their incomes or reduce costs.

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Responding to the report published by The Lancet today, IFA President Joe Healy said the report fails to take any account of how carbon efficiently food is produced in different regions of the world, or the very high standards that Irish farmers adhere to.

Joe Healy said, “Irish farmers are engaged in climate action. We have very efficient food production systems in Ireland from a climate perspective. We are the most carbon efficient dairy producer in Europe and amongst the top five in beef. It’s important that this sustainable production is not restricted, as it would lead to increased international climate emissions. This would happen because regions like the Brazilian Amazon in South America would be deforested to meet this growing demand”.

The Teagasc climate roadmap, published in June last year, represents a clear strategy for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the sector. However, it requires whole of Government support. The IFA has written to An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and sought his climate leadership in co-ordinating the key Government Departments and state agencies to fully deliver this climate roadmap.”

Joe Healy said proteins from beef and dairy are an important part of a balanced diet. The threat to public health from obesity is well documented. Dietary balance, variety and moderation combined with an active lifestyle remain the single-most important message we all need to act upon, and this is what public health authorities must focus on.

He said it was a ludicrous distraction to suggest that people should have little or no meat and dairy as part of their diet.


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