'When transport can show its emissions have fallen, then others can point the finger at farming'

IFA President Joe Healy. Picture: Finbarr O'Rourke
IFA President Joe Healy. Picture: Finbarr O'Rourke
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

IFA President Joe Healy has hit out at transport sector emissions which have increased by 133pc since 1990 compared to what he called resource efficient on farm development.

Mr Healy told the IFA Smart Farming Spring Seminar that while other sectors try to scapegoat farming for its inaction on climate he stated in no other sector in the world is farming measured and managed like it is on Irish farms.

He also stated while the agriculture’s sector’s emissions have increased a little, he hit out at the transport industry’s significant increase.

“What other sector is as engaged in the climate action space, certainly not transport where emissions have increased by 133pc since 1990 and farming’s good work is paying dividends. Yes the dairy herd has developed and as it has developed annual emissions have increased a little,” he said.

“However the recent Teagasc Sustainability report demonstrates that farming is having a resource efficient development with emissions per kilo of product across all sectors declining. If only transport could demonstrate that emissions per car on the road were falling then perhaps others could point the finger at farming with some level of justification.”

Mr Healy acknowledged that challenges lie ahead for the sector and pointed out that Ireland will not meet its 2020 climate targets.

He challenged the Government to come forward with a comprehensive climate action plan that will harness the potential of agriculture and questioned why the feed-in tariff and the preferential grid access and planning which are needed to make on-farm and community renewable energy possible, have not happened.

“Government seems prepared to write a cheque to buy compliance with 2020 climate targets rather than working with farmers who are willing to deliver on bio-energy, fossil fuel displacement, and the wider circular and bio-economy. 2020 policy inaction must not be the blueprint for 2030 and beyond,” he

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