Climate Change Plan Must Safeguard Ireland’s Sustainable Agriculture Sector – IFA

IFA Climate Change Spokesman Jer Bergin has called for full recognition to
be given to Ireland’s unique emission efficient food production system in
any national Climate Change plan which may emerge from the current
consultation with stakeholders.

Speaking after a meeting with the National Economic and Social Council
(NESC) Jer Bergin said, “The agri-food sector is the largest Irish-owned
productive sector, employing over 300,000 people and producing enough beef
each year to feed 30 million Europeans. This is done in a more
environmentally sustainable way than anywhere else in Europe. Our
grass-based beef and milk production in Ireland ensures that farmers
produce food in a low carbon and emission efficient model. It is incumbent
on NESC, when providing policy direction to Government, to recognise the
economic, environmental and social value that the agri-food sector brings
to the national economy.”

“Ireland’s response to climate change must consider the increasing global
demand for food, water scarcity, energy security, food poverty and carbon
leakage. Our policy must be based on the sustainable expansion of the
agri-food sector in Ireland, which can address these many challenges.”

Jer Bergin concluded by encouraging NESC to support emission reduction
policy initiatives put forward by IFA which would harness farmers’
expertise and productive capacity to develop a vibrant renewable energy
sector.

“It is essential that the Government implements the proposals set out in
the Association’s renewable policy document *Ireland’s Land-Based
Renewables Strategy. These include the introduction of realistic REFIT
tariffs, a clear biomass public procurement policy and a national
bio-energy roadmap, which are essential to support jobs, growth and
economic recovery.

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