Farmers focus on efficiency ‘dovetails’ with climate change report

“Ireland’s focus on improving efficiency in the agriculture sector dovetails with key proposals contained in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.”

This is according to the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) Environment Committee chairman, Thomas Cooney.

He stressed: “Ireland is the only country in the world that measures, monitors and manages carbon from farm to fork, with over 200,000 carbon assessments now completed.

No other sector of Irish society has demonstrated such a commitment to make a climate difference, given that there are just over 130,000 farm families in Ireland.

Cooney outlined that the focus on production efficiency in Ireland, as recommended in the UN report, is making a difference.

He added: “Emissions intensity per calorie of food output is approximately 14% below 2005 levels and the figure is projected to fall by a further 11% by 2030.”

Energy technology investment

In addition, Cooney has supported the report’s view that investment in low-carbon energy technologies and energy efficiency would need to “increase dramatically to make the necessary climate difference”.

“Farm-scale and community based renewable energy production is one such area where farmers can make a substantial climate impact.

Farmers have many roles to play. We are food, fuel and energy producers while at the same time, we endeavour to address our environmental and climate obligations.

Cooney referred to Teagasc’s analysis of the abatement potential of greenhouse gas emissions in Irish agriculture over the next decade.

He said it indicates that almost nine million tonnes of emissions can be reduced each year from the sector by implementing policy, including those that improve fossil fuel displacement and increased carbon sequestration.