Going green ‘is not a cost or a burden’ – Eamon Ryan

Going green “is not a cost or a burden” according to Minister Eamon Ryan, who has defended the climate action measures announced as part of Budget 2021.

The Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport told the Dáil yesterday (Wednesday, October 14) that we “now have a budget where we can focus on asking farmers to actually engage their real skills and expertise in habitat creation and in restoring nature in their own corners and in the right places within the fields on their farms”.

He said: “It gives those young people going into farming a key role and the skills for these great challenges of our time. It will give them an income as they do so.”

‘It is also about a radical improvement’

Speaking of various measures set out by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Minister Ryan said that they are not just about habitat creation, but also about a “radical improvement”.

“Thanks to this budget we expect some 500 new organic farmers to go into operation next year. There is a 50% increase in the horticulture budget, which we know we need so we can stop importing all our horticulture and start growing it ourselves.

Some 50,000 farmers will benefit from new biodiversity health and safety training. This is thinking long-term and investing for the future by upskilling our farmers to give them a central role in how we tackle the biodiversity crisis.

“It does this in a way that is sophisticated, smart farming. This is where farmers are going and what they are already doing, and what they are stepping up to do.”

The minister said that a national land review will be “centre stage and critical to the future of forestry, farming and rural Ireland”.

“It will form the basis of our plan to create jobs for young people throughout this country in a much more balanced, stable and secure way,” he continued.

We will create jobs for which people are well paid for their vital skills. That is the green recovery that is ahead of us and that is what is being funded in this budget.

“It will give people confidence that we can do it step by step. Going green is good for people – that is what we seek to achieve.

“It is not a cost or a burden; it is a better way for a better future for all the people of our country.”