Ireland promises Climate Change Bill won’t batter farmers

Irish farmers - angered by the country's new Climate Change Bill - have called on the Government to consult fully before pushing through the new legislation.

The Irish Farmers Association president, John Bryan, today (January 19) called on the Government to address the concerns of the farming and agri-food sector.

The new bill is currently going through the Houses of the Oireachtas and should face consultation later this year.

Mr Bryan said there was unanimous agreement among farmers and agri-business that the new bill could cost the economy Euro 4 billion in lost export earnings.

He said: “This issue is of national importance and the Government must address the implications for the agri-food sector before the Bill proceeds any further.”

Mr Bryan said he would be stressing the importance of a proper consultation period before any legislation is considered.

Minister of state with responsibility for climate change, Ciaran Cuffe TD, responded to the concerns.

He said: “I wish to allay the concerns and to reiterate again the targets set out in the climate change bill currently before the Houses of the Oireachtas are completely consistent with our EU targets.

“They will not place any additional target requirements on sectors such as agriculture over and above what this country is already legally obliged to achieve by 2020 under our EU agreements.

“In addition there is built-in flexibility to the targets that provide for them to be reviewed and changed subject to independent economic and scientific analysis.

“I am happy to clarify this to the committee and I am happy to meet with committee members, either individually or as a group, to provide them with detailed information which shows categorically that the targets in this Bill are entirely consistent with the EU 2020 targets.”

Luke Walsh

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