Go green by increasing production
Published 29/03/2011 | 05:00
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has claimed that Ireland should be dramatically increasing milk and beef production to save the planet from global warming.
"A recent EU report has shown that Ireland's livestock production is among the lowest in the world when it comes to carbon footprints. In my view consumers will be making their food choices in the future not on organic, GMO or place of production labels but on the carbon footprint of food. So even though most Irish farmers are allergic to the phrase climate change by now, it is actually not a threat but a fantastic opportunity for Irish agriculture."
Referring to the hugely unpopular proposals from the Green Party shortly before they were booted out of Government, the former Fine Gael spokesman on climate change said: "It's insanity to talk about the carbon footprint of agriculture in isolation relative to what's going on elsewhere in the world.
"It is clear that if climate change restrictions limited or reduced livestock production here it would simply move to somewhere else in the world. This would be worse from an environmental point of view and has massive implications for any Mercosur deal that involves beef."
The minister believes this will be a key to convincing EU Commissioners to row back on any concessions on beef in a Mercosur deal.