|Reacting to last week’s IPCC report, IFA President Tim Cullinan said Irish farmers can be a big part of climate action if supported.
“By using our natural advantage to produce carbon efficient foods, increasing the production of renewable energy on farms and with greater removal of carbon from the atmosphere, we can positively contribute to meeting the climate change challenge.”
He said the recent change to the Climate Bill, which recognises the carbon storage capabilities of Irish farms, is an important acknowledgement that farmers can contribute towards making Ireland net carbon zero by 2050.
A key message from the IPCC report is that human-induced production of CO₂, which is predominantly produced from burning fossil fuels, is the dominant greenhouse gas driving climate change.
The report highlights the cumulative effect of each additional tonne of CO₂ produced on global warming and the need to reduce CO₂ emissions as well as actively removing them from the atmosphere through carbon storage.
“The report is clear - we must limit the use of fossil fuels and stop deforestation if we have a chance to stop the effects of climate change and limit global warming.”
He said that if we are to deal with this issue on a global level, then the issue of carbon leakage has to be central to policy decisions. There’s no point in reducing production in a country like Ireland just to see it increase in regions which are not as efficient and can lead to greater deforestation.
“The report highlights the need to reduce methane and we will continue to work to reduce methane emissions in agriculture, but it’s vital that Government puts the structures in place to support farmers on this journey.”
He concluded that in our efforts to meet the climate change targets, we must ensure that food production is not unnecessarily threatened, especially when the report highlights that one of the expected impacts of climate change will be a loss of food production capacity.