The Government’s ‘outdated’ and frenzied emissions reduction targets may keep Fianna Fail and Fine Gael in power with the Greens, while robbing farming families of income generation, depriving rural communities of jobs, and causing billions of euros in lost revenue, according to the Rural Independent Group of TDs.
Speaking from his Tipperary constituency, the leader of the Rural Independent Group, Deputy Mattie Mc Grath, said:
“Despite recent empty rumblings by politicos, it is the government’s own Climate Action legislation, voted in last year by all Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Green Party TDs and Senators, that is enabling Minister Eamon Ryan to cut agricultural emissions by between 22 and 30 percent.”
“Irrespective of the final reduction figures and government spin, Irish agriculture is crippled by a much higher and disproportional cost than farming in other countries.”
“A Rural Independent Group amendment, allowing for the exclusion of agriculture from emission cuts and herd culls when presented before the Dail, was coldly voted down by all government TDs.”
“This is despite many Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil TDs making promises before the last election that they would exclude agriculture from any emission reduction targets. Therefore, little comfort is offered to farmers who hear such TDs or Senators using the “old nod and wink” politics while pretending to advocate for them.”
“Even a lower limit cut of 22 percent would be extremely damaging to Irish agriculture. However, any reduction closer to 30 percent translates into the end of Irish farming as we know it.”
“Either way, whether 22 or 30 percent, it is now inevitable; the worst fears from research, executed by the Irish Farmers’ Journal, about herd reductions or cattle culls will happen. This means an end to growing herd sizes and reductions in food production, at a time when food prices are skyrocketing, and supplies are curtailed.”
“The government’s approach to Climate Action is bluntly callous and risks offshoring our food production to countries who are without emissions targets. This approach also fails to recognise that Irish farmers are the most carbon-efficient food producers in the world, due to our grass-based model of food production.”
“Thus, our sustainable production methods should not be restricted in any capacity. The Green Party’s fanatical narrative risks not only our farming sector but also our entire system of food security and affordability.”
“Given Brexit’s impact, geopolitical factors, the Ukraine war, inflationary pressures, and the predicted looming recession, we are calling on the government not to proceed with any emission cuts for the Irish agri-food sector. Instead, we need a complete review and simultaneous engagement with the sector and the public on how best to proceed.”
“Reality must be brought to bear on these grave issues. Allowing some Green Party radicals to decide on the entire future direction of rural communities and the family farm is akin to national sabotage.”
“Our farmers are already collapsing. In fact, under the stewardship of Minister McConalogue, they reached a breakpoint some time ago. From record energy, feed, and fertilizer bills to a lack of credit from banks, farmers have never been under so much pressure.”
“For these reasons, proceeding with emission reduction targets, within the currently evolving situation would be cold, reckless, and extreme. As such, we are now calling on the Taoiseach and the Minister for Agriculture to acknowledge these real and substantial threats and to abandon the planned emissions cuts for the agriculture sector,” concluded Deputy Mc Grath.
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