Reacting to the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), IFA President Tim Cullinan said Irish farmers play a big part in the country’s efforts on climate action if properly supported.
“By using our natural advantage to produce carbon efficient foods, increasing the production of renewable energy on farms and with greater removal of carbon from the atmosphere, we can positively contribute to meeting the climate change challenge,” he said.
Mr. Cullinan said that the recent changes to the Climate Bill, which recognises the carbon storage capabilities of Irish farms, is an important acknowledgement that farmers can contribute towards making Ireland net carbon zero by 2050.
“A key message from the IPCC report is that human-induced production of CO2, which is predominantly produced from burning fossil fuels, is the dominant greenhouse gas driving climate change.
The report highlights the cumulative effect of each additional tonne of CO2 produced on global warming and the need to reduce CO2 emissions as well as actively removing them from the atmosphere through carbon storage.
“The report is clear. We must limit the use of fossil fuels and stop deforestation if we have a chance to stop the effects of climate change and limit global warming,” he said.
Mr. Cullinan added that in order to deal with this issue on a global level, then the issue of carbon leakage must be central to policy decisions.
“There’s no point in reducing production in a country like Ireland just to see it increase in regions which are not as efficient and can lead to greater deforestation,” he said.
He concluded that in our efforts to meet the climate change targets, we must ensure that food production is not unnecessarily threatened, especially when the report highlights that one of the expected impacts of climate change will be a loss of food production capacity.