Ireland Debates 30% Emissions Cap on Farmers

By Keean Bexte

The Irish government reportedly wants to cap carbon emissions in the nation’s farming industry at 28%, citing environmental requirements set by the European Union. However, some want to set an even more drastic target.

While officials are still debating what to set the targets for farmers, the Green Party has pushed a target of 30%.

Such a regime would require farmers to cut back on heavy machine use, ultimately impacting their annual yields.

Irish Farmers Association President Tim Cullinan said agricultural producers in the country are already struggling to keep their heads above water, and more regulations could make it even harder.

“If we have a reduction in what we’re doing, well, obviously that’s going to affect the viability of farmers,” said Cullinan.

“So as it is at the moment, 30 percent of our farmers are viable. So, what we want to achieve here is to get a lot more of our farmers viable. So, it’s just trying to get that message through.”

He continues, saying that a 30% emissions reduction will lead to a potential €4 billion loss every single year and lead to tens of thousands of jobs lost.

“For farmers to achieve a 22% reduction, it is going to be costly and challenging to do,” said Cullinan.

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“That’s in a sector that provides 170,000 jobs in every town and parish up and down the country.”

According to Cullinan, protests like those in the Netherlands aren’t out of the question if the government goes through with its plans.

“I can’t say that this morning but what I can say is, if we’re going to end up at that level, it’s going to be devastating, not just for farmers but for rural Ireland as well,” he said.

“I think none of us want to see that happening when there are ways we can work through this and ensure we bring everybody together on this journey as well.”

Source: The Counter Signal

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