As farmers continue to react with dismay at the decision to foist a target of a 25% emissions target on agriculture, one TD says that the decision is the equivalent of the government signing their own death warrant with rural Ireland.
Independent TD for Laois Offaly, Carol Nolan, condemned the agreed 25% emissions reductions target as “the triumph of a brutal ideological agenda over common sense and the interests of Irish farming”.
She pointed to all three Government parties who signed off on a Cabinet memo calling for the implementation of the 25% cut by 2030 – just 8 years away.
“Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Greens have sown the seeds of a massive rural revolt following this repugnant agreement,” Deputy Nolan said.
“The target level that has been agreed is without a shadow of doubt absolutely toxic and inflammatory. It is will introduce massive levels of destabilisation into a sector that has already moved heaven and earth to find ways of effectively engaging with responsible methods of carbon mitigation.”
“It is now crystal clear that Government has been captured hook line and sinker by a fundamentalist Green ideology that has no familiarity with, or interest in, the plain facts of agricultural, trading, and farming realities,” she said.
“Rural Ireland is now in the grip of a cabal of eco-extremists; but they have a rude awakening coming to them if they think we and the farming communities are going to let them destroy us without one hell of a fight, concluded Deputy Nolan.
Under the government’s Climate Action Bill, Ireland is required to cut its emissions by 51% by 2030. This would require across all major sectors, including agriculture, with farmers facing livestock culls, destroying animals to meet targets.
The 25% target will have far-reaching implications for the future of Irish farming.
Farmers point to the contradictions in current practise, where Irish farmers are being asked to cull livsestock while Brazil increases its herd size to export meet to Europe.
In a report commissioned by the Farmer’s Journal, modelling by financial experts in KPMG found that a 25% cut to emissions might bring a €2.5 billion loss to the rural economy in Ireland.
It would also require farmers to reduce beef cattle herds by 13% and dairy herds by 11%.