If you would like to submit a contribution to our Readers Blog section then follow this link. Be sure to include your full name, address and contact number otherwise your submission will not be considered for publication. We will contact you prior to publication.

Cutting €10bn agri-food industry to meet climate targets is no easy task

Your editorial (December 29) on the Paris conference on global warming focused on the narrow aspect of what you call “the disproportionately powerful farm lobby”.

There is more to this issue and many more people will be affected by adjustments made to lower greenhouse gas emissions from Irish agriculture than just the farming population.

A spokesperson for An Taisce says that just one of the decisions that has to be made to meet targets is that Ireland shuts down its beef production and converts the land to forestry.

The agri-food sector is wider than just the farm lobby and produces over 230,000 jobs. It includes approximately 600 food and drinks firms throughout the country that export 85% of our food and seafood to more than 160 countries worldwide. Those exports are worth €10bn or more to the citizens of this country.

Given the economic, social and employment consequences, shutting down a large section of that industry is a big ask.

If we are to curtail that industry in order to meet our global warming targets, as advocated by many non agri-food lobbies, then the consequences in terms of the economics, the employment and the social infrastructure of many areas in this country need to be examined.

They should certainly not be excluded from the debate in the way that your editorial did.

A. Leavy

Shielmartin Drive

Sutton

Dublin 13


Lifestyle

Orlagh Kelly owns The Reading Room bookshop on Main Street in Carrick-on-Shannon in Co Leitrim.We sell books: The Reading Room - ‘Small bookshops, curated by people who care, make a difference’

As Stockton’s Wing release a retrospective album, Mike Hanrahan tells Donal O’Keeffe about getting back on the road, and his love of cookingStill a beautiful affair: Mike Hanrahan talks about getting back on the road with Stockton's Wing

An ongoing cull is resulting in a major reduction in the deer population in one of the country’s most visited natural attractions.Donal Hickey: Deer birth patterns evolving

A Courtmacsherry neighbour, Kathy Gannon tells me that when the tide is out, the vast acres of clean, grey mud of the bay reflect the sun in splendour in the clear, sharp air.Damien Enright: ‘How enchanting for humanity that we have birds’

More From The Irish Examiner