Danger new climate change moves will be seen as anti-rural - Bruton
In his strongest indication yet that the agriculture sector faces tougher climate change targets new Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton admitted that there is a danger his plans will be seen as anti-rural.
Mr Bruton has secured Government approval to develop a new climate plan, and has warned that the cost of not meeting climate commitments would "grow very significantly" from 2020.
"We will be bringing forward new policies to significantly step up our ambitions. We are now setting about nailing down what those ambitions will be," he said this week.
The Minister said he had met with heads of Government departments this week to assess the measures that could be enacted to drive ambition.
Speaking to Senators on the issue, the Minister said: "people speak about agriculture and about being particularly nervous about the path they might have to travel.
"However, if one projects oneself forward to 2050, when we know that even the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is talking about carbon being valued at €265/t, the type of farming that will be competitive and have bright prospects for its future and for giving people a good livelihood will be dramatically different in that world.
"If we do not start on a pathway to achieve the expectations of an agriculture that will be competitive in 2040 and 2050 we will have failed those who are entering farming today," he said.
"We must design nudges, carrots and sticks to help people engage with the sort of change that is needed.