25% emissions cut by agriculture leaves much to do

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Now that emissions ceilings are set Government must get on with transformative action in every sector

Responding to this evening’s news that a deal has been reached by Government leaders on carbon emission reductions for the agriculture sector, Friends of the Earth CEO Oisín Coghlan said: 

“25% is lower than we need from agriculture. It makes other sectors’ emission cuts even more challenging as they’ll now have to pick up the slack and make cuts of around 65%.

"On the other hand 25% is not what the agri-lobbyists wanted either. The last few weeks have shown that the IFA don’t have a veto on Irish climate policy like they used to. They said that anything more than 22% would impact the current business model for Irish agriculture. And they are right in the sense that this decision means systemic change is now needed in the agri sector. It’s time now to start a supported transition away from intensive beef and dairy towards a more sustainable model of agriculture with fewer cattle and less pollution. That’s the only way to meet not only the 2030 target but to reach net zero pollution across the whole economy as we have to do by 2050 at the latest.

"Indeed, this is only the starting line. Now that these binding emissions ceilings are set, Government urgently need to get on with transformative action in every sector and in every community. The time for talking is finally over, it’s time for a relentless focus now on delivery, delivery, delivery."

“We must remember too that Ireland’s overall climate target still falls short of our global fair share of climate action. We’ve been using way more than our fair share of the global carbon budget for years and the climate breakdown we’ve caused is already heaping misery and pain onto the world’s poorest communities. The current drought and devastating hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa, exacerbated by climate change, is a case in point. Far from contributing to food security, Ireland’s polluting emissions are making it more and more difficult for the world’s poorest people to produce the food they need to survive. It’s time to change that and action must start today. 

"There has been an impressive level of engagement from the public on the need for strong climate action over the past few weeks. There is a clear appetite for change and a sense of urgency for Ireland to get moving to address the climate crisis.”