17 Aug 2022

Offaly TD insists agriculture emissions level should be set at lower end of scale


Members of Offaly IFA pictured at a recent meeting on emissions targets with Deputy Barry Cowen

LOCAL Fianna Fail Deputy Barry Cowen has insisted and says he will argue within FIanna Fail that the emissions target for agriculture be set at the lower end of initial recommendations at 22%.

In a statement issued ot the Tribune this week, Deputy Cowen, said: “While we encounter record temperatures and the worsening impacts of climate change, irish farming shouldnt be the scapegoat, many other sectors and continents hold a bigger responsibility. Farming has shown it will do its duty to the planet as it does every day to our heritage and traditions.

“Emissions reduction targets as provided for in PfG is a major acknowledgment of the sectors responsibilities and must be augmented by government supports to entice, encourage and work with farm families in achieving this ambition.   

“That ambition must and will signify our interest in maintaining/enhancing the quality of our products with production systems that match environmental ambition and consumer sentiment.   

“I’ve no doubt with this target being set with the acknowledgment/cooperation of agricultural sector that it’s success when measured in the future, will offer further potential decreases of carbon emissions in the future while still realising the potential of realising the demands on world food requirements.

“Our national herd can be maintained so long as the technology associated with genomics and foodstuffs are subvented as investments in farms throughout the country.

“Minister Ryan should be hell bent on greatly improving on the meagre targets associated with offshore wind energy.

“I would contend that we increase our ambitions associated with potential energy dividend from offshore wind capacities off our coasts, particularly the west coast.  That potential not only can enhance our emissions targets but yield a €300b bonanza by 2050……the value of the Irish economy today !!  That too can ensure our agricultural output maintains its pivotal role in being at the heart of local economies throughout Ireland.   

“As Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue says ‘every sector must do what it can’, Therefore Minister Ryan has the potential within his own department ( driving better results and progress on energy provision  & competition by likes of Eirgrid, CRU and his Dept )to do a lot more for our emissions targets, energy provision and our economy rather than the lazy nod to the agricultural sector.   

“We have led the world in the quality of our agricultural produce to date.  It’s contribution to our economy is appreciated and it’s imperative we work with that industry rather than issuing lectures/dictates thus ensuring the programme for government targets & ambition can be realised rather than stalled.”

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