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Dec 21, 2022 | Latest News, Press Releases | 0 comments

ICSA president Dermot Kelleher has said that the 2023 Climate Action Plan, announced today, is long on aspiration and short on specific funding strategies. “The Government is now going to have to put money in place to deliver on its aspirations. Farmers will be relieved to see that there is no mention of a 10% cull either on a voluntary or compulsory basis which supports the position of ICSA continuing to engage on the basis that active farming must be supported financially to be more economically and ecologically sustainable.”

“However, the plan is surprisingly short on proposals to fund any climate actions by active farmers. It calls into question whether the Government is serious about a coherent strategy across all sectors when the plan actually envisages €119 billion investment but makes no mention of a funding package for farming.”

“The reality is that all sectors will struggle to make the sectoral emissions ceiling targets. Substantial investment is required as evidenced by estimates of €42 billion for transport, €36 billion for electricity and €32 billion for buildings. Agriculture barely registers when it comes to expected investment. This flies in the face of all logic when one considers that agriculture is expected to deliver 5.75 Mtons CO2 eq which is not far removed from the electricity target of 7 Mtons CO2 eq and the transport target of 6 Mtons CO2 eq.” 

“The key point is that farmers are willing to do all they can to improve the sustainability metrics of producing highly nutritious meat and dairy which is critical to food security globally. The reality is that as people become more affluent, they choose to increase their consumption of meat and dairy in recognition of the fact that these products deliver protein in its most beneficial format and vital vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B12, calcium, zinc, and iron.”

Mr Kelleher concluded by saying, “it is now time to move away from the one-sided attack on livestock farming. The Government must now step up to the plate and deliver the funding necessary to assist farmers deliver on climate, on food security, on energy security and on biodiversity. None of this can happen unless there is a pathway to all farming systems delivering profitability and it must be done with a keen recognition that our €15 billion agrifood exports are critical to the economic well-being of all twenty-six counties and not just Dublin.”     


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