IFA seeks realistic plan to reduce carbon footprint

IFA president, Joe Healy

IFA has urged the State to prioritise Teagasc’s realistic measures to reduce agriculture’s carbon footprint over the Citizens’ Assembly’s carbon tax model.

IFA said agriculture’s emissions have declined by 1% since 1990, whereas emissions from sectors such as transport are up 133%. Despite this, farming continues to be a scapegoat for inaction in other sectors, said IFA environment chairman Thomas Cooney.

“212,000 carbon assessments have been completed in Bord Bia’s Origin Green,” Mr Cooney said. “Over 40% of farmers participate in the Green Low Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme. Over 1,000 farmers interact in the voluntary Smart Farming programme. Yes, agriculture emissions are significant, but that reflects the importance of the sector to the national economy.

The agri-food sector is Ireland’s largest indigenous productive sector and a key driver of economic activity in every parish in Ireland.

For a just and sustainable climate transition, climate measures must lead to improved farm level profitability.”

IFA president, Joe Healy, added: “The recommendations regarding the development of farm-scale and community renewables have the potential to make a real difference.

“However, this requires changes to grid connection, planning policy, and the design of the renewable electricity support scheme to support farm-scale and community renewables,” he said.

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