IFA Environment Chairperson, Thomas Cooney will meet with senior officials from the European Commission in Brussels today (Thursday).
This meeting takes place at a time when members of the Commission’s Environment Committee are negatively targeting agriculture, by seeking to significantly reduce the positive contribution that forestry is making to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Cooney said, “Current proposals by MEPs who sit on the Commission’s Environment Committee are short-changing farmers in Ireland and may result in over 9m tonnes of carbon savings from forestry generated by farmers being disregarded.
“Ireland faces significant challenges over the next decade to deliver on EU climate obligations. While emissions from farming have fallen by 6%, emissions from transport have increased by 130% since 1990 and overall national emissions increasing by 7% over the same period.
“Members of the European Parliament should not be unravelling existing agreements. They should be doing everything in their power to maximise the carbon saving potential of agriculture, whether that is from renewable energy production, forestry, permanent pastures or bio-energy.”
Concluding, Mr Cooney encouraged Ireland’s MEPs to ensure that climate policy is implemented in compliance with the international Paris agreement in a manner that does not threaten food production and food security.