8th August 2019 | Agriculture, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Press Releases

How we use land is contributing to climate change – we need a National Land Use Plan: Greens


As the IPCC release their report on how land use is causing climate breakdown, Ireland must now oversee how land is used to reduce emissions say the Green Party.

Green Party Spokesperson on Climate Cllr David Healy said:

“The IPCC has given a clear statement of the threat which climate change poses to agriculture and food security. It also emphasises that changing our food system and the protection of the living world are essential elements of protecting the climate, along with decarbonising the economy.”

Green Party Agriculture Spokesperson Pippa Hackett said:

“The report makes it clear that we need to move our beef and dairy away from a high cost and high output model to a more sustainable one. We need to develop a system that does not rely on synthetic inputs. This type of system would reduce emissions, protect the environment and, with policy support, increase farm incomes.

“Ireland really needs a land use policy and coupled with that we need to reduce the damage we do elsewhere. We can reduce our reliance on imports: fertilisers, grains, and palm oil.

“We need a self-sustainable, self-sufficient and futureproof food system for Ireland.”

Reading the IPCC’s advice in Ireland, we face four major challenges;

  • diversifying our agricultural system away from over specialisation on beef and dairy;
  • protecting, rewetting and restoring our bogs;
  • restoring our native woodlands and developing continuous cover forestry;
  • ensuring that we don’t cause environmental damage and greenhouse gas emissions in other countries by using biomass grown there.

The first three would form part of the national land use plan which the Green Party has proposed and which the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, and the Dáil have called for.

Cllr David Healy added: “The need to ensure we don’t cause damage in other countries is emphasised by the welcome refusal of planning permission for the burning of biomass in Shannonbridge power plant on the grounds that the environmental impact of the proposed imported biomass has not been assessed.”