Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney and ICOS should guarantee that rising emissions from farming will not cost taxpayer according to An Taisce.

It says Irish agriculture claims it can dramatically increase the size and output of the national dairy herd while not increasing net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the sector. An Taisce believes these claims to be manifestly incorrect.

It is now calling on Agriculture Minister, Simon Coveney, as well as the Irish Co-Op Organisation Society (ICOS) to publicly guarantee the Irish taxpayers that they will not be forced to pick up the tab for massive EU fines as a result of spiralling agriculture sector emissions arising from the expansionist ‘Food Harvest 2020’.

An Taisce says it rejects any notion of fostering a ‘them and us’ division between farmers, their industry and the environmental lobby.

“Indeed we need to move on to a path to stabilising the Earth’s climate system, which will depend on all of us working together for solutions,” it says.

An Taisce says it fully appreciates that Irish farmers are critical to environmental protection.

It says agriculture is in fact uniquely vulnerable to the disruptive effects of climate change – and many older Irish farmers in particular are already well aware that the largely predictable weather they grew up with is undergoing rapid and disturbing changes.

An Taisce recognises that agriculture will need to make major efforts in the coming years in adapting to levels of climate change which are already inevitable. However, it stresses without global climate stabilisation, all bets for the future of farming – and humanity as a whole – are off the table.

It says all sectors of society need to be working towards a path to climate stability for the health and well being of all our futures.

An Taisce stresses that aspirations will not be enough; total annual emissions must fall to cultivate a safer future.