The outcome of the climate talks in Brussels represents a significant acknowledgement of the multi-functional role of agriculture, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association.
Eddie Downey, the IFA president, said that the deal secured important commitments as part of the European Union strategy up to 2030.
“Ireland’s agri-food sector supports 300,000 jobs right across the country, is the largest exporter of beef in Europe, produces 15% of the world’s infant formula and has overall food exports of over €10bn.
“This is being achieved sustainably. Ireland’s beef and dairy farmer’s carbon footprint is among the lowest in Europe, as verified by Carbon Trust and others,” he said.
Mr Downey said the IFA will continue to press for sustainable policies at EU level that will allow Irish farmers to play their part in mitigation measures.
On bio-energy, he said the Government must renew its commitment to an indigenous bioenergy sector following the European Council’s decision to increase the use of renewable energy to 27% in these talks.
“Bio-energy represents a real farm diversification opportunity.”
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