Minister on negative climate commentary: ‘Give us a break’

Commentators criticising the Irish agricultural sector’s efforts on climate change have been called on by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, to acknowledge the strides made so far by the sector to become more sustainable and avoid generating a negative reaction from “relentless negative commentary”.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the Tullamore Show in Tullamore, Co. Offaly, earlier today, Sunday, August 11, the minister said:

“I’d like to make a point very briefly about climate.

I do understand that the rural and the farming community is under relentless bombardment by all sides about the sustainability of our industry and I would make an appeal – give us a break.

“We do acknowledge that we have a role to play as an industry and as a community and as farming families; we know that each and every one of us have changes to make.

“But the relentless negative commentary is in danger of generating an adverse reaction.

“And I would say to the commentators, to the keyboard warriors and to the media, that this is an industry that globally is a leader in terms of its sustainability.

“We are up there, as good as many and better than most – and we acknowledge that we are required to change.”

The minister said that Irish farmers and farm families are aware that changes can be made to improve sustainability.

We need to be acknowledged also, that it is in the Paris Accord, that we are part of the solution. We are part of feeding sustainably the growing global population, exporting as we do over 90% of what we produce.

The Paris Accord talks about sustainable food production, climate change and not compromising that sustainability.

“We can do more and we will do more in that regard – but we do need recognition for what it is that we have achieved already – in many respects as global leaders in what we do.

“Whilst we’re not looking for a free pass, we do acknowledge that we have more to do – but so does every individual of the state and citizen of the globe in the context of meeting the challenge of our times to pass on the earth to the next generation in the best state that we possibly can.

“We are contributing significantly, and we deserve recognition for that, while acknowledging that we have more to do,” the minister concluded.