IFA Environment Chairman Thomas Cooney has received confirmation from the Department of Agriculture that the mitigation potential from Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry, particularly from afforestation, continues to be included in the ongoing negotiations with the European Commission for a Climate and Energy Framework to 2030.
He said, “Thousands of farm families across the country have planted lands with forestry and IFA continues to advocate at meetings with Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan, Climate Commissioner Caňete and Government Ministers in Dublin that the carbon sinks associated with this forestry must count. It is not acceptable to continue to focus exclusively on carbon emissions such as methane. The whole picture from the sector must be accurately reported, and that means looking at the carbon sinks as well as carbon emissions”.
Commenting on recent reports that a standalone pillar will not be created by the EU Commission for the sector, often referred to as Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF), Thomas Cooney said, “IFA supports this decision. Agriculture is not just about forestry and land use change. Farmers must also produce food, fuel and energy, as well as protect the environment. Therefore the sector has multiple functions, which cannot be ignored by simply creating a standalone pillar that only considers forestry and land use change.”
Thomas Cooney added, “On a recent visit to Dublin, Climate Commissioner Caňete reaffirmed his understanding of Ireland’s unique emissions profile, based on the importance of agriculture to the national economy. IFA emphasised to the Commissioner and subsequently to Commissioner Hogan in Brussels of the need for this understanding to be reflected in the current discussions. The overall role of carbon sinks such as forestry in achieving Ireland’s 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction targets must be part of the solution.”