FARMING POLL 2015: Despite global warming, three out of four unwilling to cut back

Having escaped one straitjacket in the form of milk quota, Irish farmers seem determined not to be strapped into another one — carbon-constraints.

In the 2015 Irish Examiner ICMSA farming survey, only 85 farmers out of 569 said they should cut back their production in order to reduce global warming.

Asked if Irish farmers should reduce production as part of the national effort to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions which cause global warming, the majority (51%) disagreed strongly, and 24% slightly disagreed.

Although 24% neither agreed or disagreed, only 16% agreed.

That survey result puts farmers on a collision course with the powers-that-be that are committed to reducing emissions — not to mention with environmentalists who would go even further.

Agriculture is responsible for over 32% of Ireland’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, compared to the EU average of 10%.

This reflects the relative absence of heavy industry in Ireland, and the dominance of cattle and sheep production in Irish agriculture.

With such high emissions, Irish agriculture cannot expect to go unscathed by the EU’s pledge to lead the global battle against climate change with a binding, economy-wide emissions reduction target of at least 40% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

Most of the Irish agricultural emissions come from cattle (methane), use of fertilisers, and use of cattle feeds.

They are targeted because, in the words of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, there is “no silver bullet to tackle climate change”, other than decrease carbon emissions, “whilst keeping the economy growing”.

Irish agriculture emissions declined by 7.2% from 1990 to 2013, due to decreases in total cattle and sheep numbers, and the re-focusing of the CAP towards environmental management policy.

However, GHG emissions from agriculture have started to increase again.

Follow this link for more survey findings and analysis

Survey methodology

More on this topic

VIDEO: Farmers talk of having to work outside farm to supplement incomeVIDEO: Farmers talk of having to work outside farm to supplement income


Lifestyle

Italy is a volatile place as you probably know, not just the passions of its people but is a place of active volcanos and frequent earthquakes. One of the most devastating earthquakes in recent years was the one that struck the Amatrice region in 2016.Wine with Leslie Williams: Some tasty Italian selections

It’s confirmed, being a dog owner is good for you. Esther McCarthy spoke to four celebrities about pride in their pooches.Animal magnetism: Celebrities and their treasured pets

We recently began watching a new sitcom called, ‘The Kids Are Alright’. It follows an American family in the early seventies as they raise eight sons.Lindsay Woods: I’m a dormant individual by nature but my children are adrenaline junkies

Rosscarbery antiques fair offers plenty of variety, writes Des O’Sullivan.See the value of rare notes and diamonds

More From The Irish Examiner