The Government’s decision yesterday to demand of a reduction of 25% in greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture sector by 2030 has been described as a ‘potentially devastating blow’ for Irish farming and the rural economy.
The Irish Farmers Association heavily criticised the announcement, saying the deal between the three government parties is about their survival rather than the survival of rural Ireland.
The association’s president Tim Cullinan said that the Government agreed to a target without any pathway to get there or any budget to assist farmers to reduce emissions.
He said that they have ‘no idea of the economic and social impact’ of the decision on the farming sector or rural Ireland.
“Farmers across the country will be rightly worried about what this means for their future,” he said.
“The implementation plan to achieve the target will be vital. I want to make it clear that any attempt to undermine farmers livelihoods or the viability of sector, in order to achieve these targets, will be opposed vigorously by the IFA.”
Mr Cullinan said that the Government will have to come forward with real proposals and proper funding to support climate measures including on-farm renewable energy and ensure that farmers get full credit for this.
“We are still strongly of the view that the Government has not complied with the requirements in the Climate Act in relation to carbon leakage and the distinct characteristics of biogenic methane. These will have to be taken on board by the Government.”