02 Dec 2021

Farm Emissions - ICMSA say rigid target reductions will be overtaken by science

Tipperary ICMSA president Pat McCormack to address Thurles meeting

ICMSA president Pat McCormack

The President of ICMSA has said that the reported cuts in agri-related emissions will be “a huge challenge and one that can only be contemplated – much less achieved – with massive support and commitment from every level of Government in Ireland”.

Mr. Pat McCormack said that his Association was convinced that it was possible to continue developing our farming sector while simultaneously cutting agri emissions and said the notion that farming had to come to a ‘Full Stop’ while the emission lowering programme accelerated is neither possible or even desirable.

Mr. McCormack said that sector needed an approach to the transition that was flexible and responsive to a situation that he was certain would change dramatically as already introduced measures fed through. He said that a whole spectrum of measures and practices will lead to reduced emissions and that trend would accelerate. In that context, it would be both prudent and practical to keep a degree of flexibility that would allow us to adjust our programme on an ongoing basis. It would be a fundamental error, he said, to lock a dynamic sector like farming and food production into a rigid five-year programme.

“We think that the worst thing Irish farming and agri-food can do now is nail ourselves to a rigid programme that we all know will be overtaken by science and data over the next few years. We already know that the reductions under the Teagasc MACC will be delivered and we already know that research is well under way on similar projects that will lower emissions without affecting cow numbers and production volumes. ICMSA believes that this has to be a ‘Moving Target’ scenario where we can all see over a three-year period where the data is going and where we will have to maybe go harder or ease back”, he said.

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