In recent weeks IFA published five actions that Government can take to support farming to deliver on climate. These include a call for the establishment of a cross-sectoral implementation group, including IFA, and to mobilise Government Departments and the State’s advisory, scientific and economic development agencies to maximise the delivery of the reductions identified by Teagasc in their recent climate abatement report.
IFA President Joe Healy said it’s now time to move beyond climate blaming and into climate action. Government led by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar must now lead a co-ordinated ‘whole of sector’ delivery of the climate reducing potential of this Teagasc scientific report.
The report identifies the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly nine megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2-e). This is almost half of the emissions attributed to agriculture and can be delivered by changes in agricultural practice (3.07 Mt CO2-e), land-use changes (3.89 Mt CO2-e) and fossil fuel displacement (2.03 Mt CO2-e) in the sector.
The report identifies 27 specific measures to deliver this, however it also emphasises that this climate abatement potential can only be achieved if there is ‘maximum level of uptake’.
IFA Environment Chairman Thomas Cooney said, “Delivery of these actions will require funding from the Department of Finance, planning changes from the Department of Housing, tariff supports from the Department of Environment, technical expertise from the Department of Agriculture, Teagasc, the SEAI and the EPA, as well as advisory support from Enterprise Ireland.
This requires co-ordination and commitment at the highest level in Government and An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar must now step onto the pitch. Delivery of the greenhouse gas reducing measures contained in this Teagasc report is what climate leadership looks like, the leadership that both An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Environment Minister Richard Bruton have referred to in recent weeks”.