The costs of gas emissions are borne directly by farmers

In recent weeks there has been much media discussion about the Climate Change Advisory Council setting emissions targets for each sector.

Gunmen would accept a 22 percent cut, but the Greens and environmentalists want a 30 percent cut.

Reducing agricultural emissions is a very complex issue.

The need for food safety and production must be combined with the need to reduce emissions, and at the end of the day, the farmer also needs to make a living.

It is worth noting that one of the main recommendations of the Paris Climate Agreement was that reducing emissions should not come at the expense of food production. This is particularly relevant given that the world’s population is increasing by around a million per week and all of these people need to be fed.

Environmentalists and green activists constantly spread the simplistic mantra that emissions would fall if Irish farmers only reduced the number of dairy and beef cows.

It’s not that easy. It is currently believed that Irish agriculture is responsible for 35 per cent of the national greenhouse gas emissions. What is not widely recognized is that up to half of these emissions are stored or sequestered in our grasslands, hedgerows, bogs and trees. If this were accounted for, it would reduce the number for agriculture to about 17-18 percent of the national total.

Unfortunately, no scientific assessment of the exact agricultural emissions has been carried out in this country.

Such a study was initiated in Northern Ireland in 2015. It lasted two years and cost £45million.

It was money well spent.

The carbon footprint of every field and farm in Northern Ireland has been mapped and documented.

The farmers up there know what they are dealing with and what they have to do.

Many corrective measures such as low-emission manure spreading, low-emission fertilizer, low-protein feed and algae additives are being implemented on the farms, but it will take three to five years to have an impact.

Some commentators believe farmers are looking for a free rider on this issue.
That is not true.

The costs of greenhouse gas emissions are borne directly by individual farmers and their families.

Gerald Doherty

Glenmore, County Kilkenny

Consumers must avoid waste to avert climate chaos

With the best will in the world, the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies will still take a few years.

Likewise, it will take time for farmers to acquire more seeds, switch machines and find new markets for produce.

We consumers are best placed to avert climate chaos by saving energy and ending waste now.

So let’s drive less, walk and cycle more
and for God’s sake don’t leave the dipping on ‘Bath’!

Una O’Connor

Prosperous, Co Kildare

Action to solve climate change simply cannot wait

Reports from yesterday suggest the Taoiseach must step in to resolve the dispute between Transport Secretary Eamon Ryan and Agriculture Secretary Charlie McConalogue over methane emissions from cattle.

It should be noted that the Minister for Agriculture is not a spokesman for Irish farmers, but a representative of the people.

I am writing this during my holiday in the foothills of the Morne Mountains, seeing what the climate is like all around me
changing rapidly in the scarcity of bees, butterflies and general flora.

What is happening requires global leadership and action.

It can’t wait.

Our children’s children will not inherit what we have.

Please don’t share the issue with anyone else.

trade now

Paul Doran

Dublin 22

Current and potential new PMs reflect Thatcher’s image

I can’t help but think how odd it is that Liz Truss keeps conjuring up an image of Maggie’s clone – all blouse and puffy hair.

Or is that Bojo?

Liam power

Dundalk, Co. Louth

It just wasn’t Galway’s day, despite a wonderful effort

Despite valiant efforts, Galway failed to find the keys to the kingdom.

Tom Gilsenan

Beaumont, Dublin 9 The costs of gas emissions are borne directly by farmers

Fry Electronics Team

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