Ireland South MEP Sean Kelly has been appointed to the role of Chairman of the European Parliament’s negotiating committee for the International Climate Change Agreement.

Welcoming the announcement IFA President Eddie Downey said he looked forward to working with Sean Kelly to achieve an outcome to the international climate change talks in Paris later this year which delivers a fair and balanced outcome for agriculture.

“Agriculture, climate change, food security and resource stress such as water availability are all interlinked. The overall climate response in the Paris conference must ensure that these multiple challenges are addressed for the agriculture sector.”

Downey also called on Sean Kelly to ensure that agriculture’s role in contributing to further reductions in greenhouse gas emissions is fully recognised.

“The carbon storage potential of agricultural soils, forestry and bioenergy needs to be acknowledged when looking at greenhouse gas emissions from the sector. Internationally, the mitigation potential of agricultural soils is between one and four billion tonnes of CO2/year,” he said.

IFA Environment Chairman Harold Kingston said Ireland is a world leader in sustainable production, measuring and reducing greenhouse gas emissions throughout the supply chain, whether inside the farm gate or at processor level.

Kingston said Sean Kelly is now in an important position to ensure that a different approach for agriculture is put in place in relation to climate change.

“This new approach must address food security, the sustainable development of the sector and recognise carbon sinks if there is to be a successful outcome to the Paris Summit later this year,” he said.