Any measures to reverse failures to reach climate change targets should consider “rural-proofing” an Oireachtas committee has heard.
t a meeting of the Oireachtas Committee for Climate Change, members raised concerns that farmers will be unfairly impacted by some of the recommendations outlined in the citizen’s assembly report pubished in April.
Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulhern said greater consideration should be given to farmers.
“I would say in a general sense the farmers would feel there wasn’t enough consideration given to them,” she said.
“I am concerned in relation to the farming community. There was quite a negative reaction from a lot of farmers and a lot of farming organisations, and to be honest I don’t blame them,” Ms Mulhern added.
“The idea for them that they’re going to get another carbon tax slapped upon them is very daunting.”
In the Citizen’s Assembly Report 89pc of members recommended a tax on greenhouse emissions from agriculture while 80pc said they would support a move to higher taxes on carbon intensive activities.
Independent Donegal TD Thomas Pringle suggested the committee should propose measures to “rural-proof” any actions taken to reduce emissions from private vehicles.
“It’s not feasible for people living in Donegal to go for public transport because there is none.
“The reduction of traffic in Dublin is more feasible because you have public transport there whereas the people in Donegal out of necessity have to travel and have to use private transport because there is not public transport,” Mr Pringle said.
Meanwhile, the committee also heard that Met Éireann could play a greater role in informing the public of the effects of climate change.
“I think their broadcasts would provide an excellent platform for updates on climate change and encouragement on climate action,” said Offaly TD Majella Corcoran Kennedy
“We saw the invaluable service Met Éireann provided during Storm Ophelia, Storm Emma and even during the recent heatwave.
“I met with Met Éireann and Minister Naughten last year to discuss this proposal and I hope it will be progressed soon.”