Government Must Recognise Esri Climate Plan for Agriculture

IFA Climate Change spokesman Jer Bergin has urged the Government to act on today’s ESRI Report, which highlights Ireland’s comparative advantage in producing dairy and beef in an emission-efficient way.

He said, “This is a significant contribution to the debate about climate change, and a welcome one, as it recognises the sustainable nature of our farming practices. The low-carbon model of our agri-food sector and the benefits it brings to the wider economy must be at the centre of future policy development.”

Jer Bergin said, “The Environment Review from the ESRI correctly identifies the need for a special case to be made at EU level for managing agricultural emissions, and this must be secured before the Government considers any legislation. The ESRI Report endorses IFA’s view that displacing production here would move it overseas to regions such as South America, without any global environmental benefit. It is important that our potential to increase output and employment is not undermined by any onerous legislation.”

He said the Government must produce a Climate Plan that incorporates the proposals from the ESRI, which will allow for the sustainable expansion of the agri sector. “Food Harvest 2020 can play a role in our economic recovery, but cannot be held back by legislation which ignores the sustainable credentials of food production in Ireland.”

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