Varadkar: Government to ‘work with farmers’ to reduce emissions

The Government will work with farmers “to modernise and reduce emissions” in the battle to halt climate change, according to the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Speaking at the Fine Gael National Congress over the weekend, the Taoiseach highlighted the challenge facing the country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and aim for internationally-binding targets.

“In the coming weeks, we will finalise an all of Government action plan to reduce our carbon emissions,” he said.

Varadkar added that the changes needed “will not be easy” and will require people to “change how we heat our homes, how we travel and how our electricity is produced”.

“Government doesn’t have all the answers. So we will work with people and communities to chart the best and most inclusive way forward.

In particular we will work with our farmers to modernise agriculture and reduce emissions from that sector, taking into account the need to protect their incomes and livelihoods as well as the environment.

Turning to the topic of carbon taxes, the Taoiseach said: “When it comes to carbon tax, whatever is taken from a carbon tax will be given back to citizens.

“Carbon tax shouldn’t be about raising money for the Government or punishing you in your pocket.

“It should be about nudging people and businesses to change behaviour and adopt new technologies,” the Taoiseach concluded.