Deputy Danny Healy Rae said that he’s very concerned and angered with what he called ‘the so called climate talks’ taking place in government with the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue and the Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan.
“These talks are taking place behind closed doors where farmers and farming representatives are having no say whatsoever in decisions about their future and the viability of their operations going forward,” said Deputy Healy Rae.
Talking in Percentages
“Indeed in any of the comments that are leaked we hear no word at all about food security, all we are hearing are the figures of 22%, 25% and 30%,” he added.
“Yet, no farmer knows or has been told what this actually means to cow numbers or how much of a reduction is going to be demanded by each of these percentages.
“It can’t be fair that farm holdings with a lot of marginal land – bushes and trees, rocks and bog will get no credit at all for all the carbon that they are individually and collectively sequestering. ,
“They don’t seem to be getting any credit for the many, new costly environmental practices they have put into place in recent years.
“I feel that all of this could lead to a serious downturn in the economy of our country as farming has been and is the backbone of our country for generations.
“Why is all the focus on farming and the cow and there is no discussions about targetting all the other sectors including aviation?
“Why is there such a hatred of farming by this government when clearly it is the farmer who is putting the food on the table?
Talks Should be Suspended
I don’t accept we have to reduce emissions by 22% when so many farmers are sequestering more carbon than they are emitting.
“I am asking that these current talks be suspended and allow a proper debate between farmers, farming organisations and elected representatives to ensure the viability of farming going forward,” said Deputy Healy Rae in conclusion.
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