New thinking needed on agricultural emissions policies

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The ESRI (Economic and Social Research Institute) has published its Environment Review 2012, which finds that if Ireland is to meet the targets for increased agricultural production under Food Harvest 2020, they will struggle to meet their emissions obligations.

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association agrees with the finding of the Economic and Social Research Institute that a new deal is needed on agricultural emissions targets for Europe.

ICSA President Gabriel Gilmartin said, that on the one hand, Food Harvest 2020 said they had to strive to dramatically increase agricultural production – but on the other, they were expected to reduce the emissions from farming activities. The two targets were plainly incompatible.

As a whole, Ireland is supposed to reduce its emissions by 20% by the year 2020. ICSA is firmly of the opinion that this is much too onerous due to the fact that agriculture as an industry is proportionately far more significant in Ireland than in other EU countries.

Mr. Gilmartin said that he was very much in agreement with the ESRI’s suggestion that a new mechanism for managing agricultural emissions in Ireland was needed. A blunt focus on emissions reduction in Ireland might lead to more production being moved overseas, and Ireland would lose the potential to expand output and create jobs. If this was to happen, the environmental benefits might be less than if production was kept within the EU, where cross-compliance and other measures ensured higher environmental standards. New thinking was needed on the climate and emissions policies imposed on the sector.
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