Tim Cullinan, IFA President
IFA President Tim Cullinan says the next Government must look at the way emissions are being calculated and accounted for before rushing headlong into environmental flag waving while ignoring scientific developments.
“I acknowledge the recognition in the response from FF/FG to the Green Party that biogenic methane must be treated differently. This is an important development," he said.
“However, farmers must also be given credit for sequestration and the new Climate Bill has to factor in the latest Teagasc research which shows that Nitrous Oxide emissions from farming are being over counted,” he said.
The farming leader said there are "huge lessons" to be learned from the Covid-19 crisis.
"There are still the same number of animals on our planet, but emissions have dropped through the floor. We need a serious re-look at how we are measuring and accounting for emissions,” he said.
“The environmental credentials of our dairy and beef sectors are well established. Fianna Fail and Fine Gael cannot allow the Green Party tail to wag the dog. Farmers are ready to step up and embrace policies that put them at the centre of climate action,” he said.
“We must look at net emissions from agriculture that takes into account the carbon farmers are currently sequestering and new learnings on methane. Any reduction in cattle numbers would be very damaging to the rural economy at a time when we are looking to move on from the impact of Covid-19,” he said.
Mr Cullinan said the two main parties that are looking to form the next Government should keep the focus on a coherent renewables policy.
He said farmers were enthusiastic about getting involved in renewables, but Government action to date on farm scale renewables had been very practically non-existent.