The publication of today’s (4th November) Climate Action Plan is the most detailed and ambitious in the history of the state. It sets out a roadmap for Ireland with the targets and measures necessary to meet our commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the agricultural sector by building a more resilient Agri-food sector and increasing the uptake of greenhouse gas efficient farming.
Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity, Senator Pippa Hackett stated;
“It’s time to put climate and biodiversity at the core of everything we do and this plan gives us a blueprint going forward to do that. It contains strong actions to be taken by all Government departments so that every sector of society works together, in a joined up approach, to get us to where we need to be.
“If we are to protect the model of the Irish family farm, and protect farm incomes, we must genuinely farm for and with nature. Our grass-based farming system is our competitive advantage, making us among the most sustainable producers in the world. This Plan will give farmers certainty after what has been a really challenging, uncertain period for farmers with CAP reform and Brexit.”
Some of the measures outlined in the Climate Action Plan commits to using less chemical nitrogen and more targeted use of fertiliser, while maintaining the same level of grass growth, including the incorporation of multi-species swards and clover. Research will be carried out into animal feed and improving the genetics of Irish herds to reduce emissions and improve productivity. Farmers will also be incentivised to diversify into organic farming, forestry and energy production.
Senator Hackett added;
“Farmers know the land better than anyone and I believe they are willing and able to play a key role in climate action. As a farmer myself I’m looking forward to embracing the plan and to all other farmers doing so too. In the decade ahead, there is huge opportunity for these measures to have a transformative impact on our lives and on our communities.”
Senator Róisín Garvey, Green Party Spokesperson for Rural Development said;
“This plan is good news for rural Ireland. It means reduced emissions and increased incomes. Investment in innovation and diversifying farming – including solar energy, agroforestry and horticulture – will provide more opportunities for small family farmers to boost their incomes, make a sustainable living as well as support a healthier eco-system on their land.”
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