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27 Nov 2021

TD tells Taoiseach to 'be honest' with farmers about carbon emission targets

TD tells Taoiseach to 'be honest' with farmers about carbon emission targets

TD tells Taoiseach to 'be honest' with farmers about carbon emission targets

A TD has told the Taoiseach to "be honest" with farmers about carbon emission targets. 

Deputy Jennifer Whitmore made the comment in the Dáil yesterday during Questions on Promised Legislation, and said the government's "minimising" of targets farmers will have to meet does them a disservice. 

She said, "It is not giving them the time they will need to prepare and it is not providing them with the technological and financial supports they will need.  

"The reality is that agriculture accounts for one third of our greenhouse emissions. Farmers will have a very significant role to play when it comes to us hitting our targets. [They] are very good at doing what the Government asks and pays them to do. They will put their shoulder to the wheel and will do it but they need leadership from this Government." 

She concluded: "By saying farmers will only have to have a reduction of 10%, that is not going to achieve the targets we need them to achieve. Will the Taoiseach please be honest with targets? Honesty is the best environmental and economic policy for our farmers and they need him to lead on this." 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin responded to say, "The Deputy is giving the impression that they would appreciate if there were higher targets set for them. They would not, actually." 

He agreed that farmers will need supports, which he said will be provided for them. 

He said, "As I said earlier, there is a very significant hunger in the farming community for its capacity to reduce costs through alternative energy solutions, and that is something that I am very supportive of, but again we need to accelerate that together with the microgeneration within farming in a different approach." 

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