Michael Creed, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, has warned critics of Ireland’s agriculture industry that you cannot produce any kind of food without a carbon footprint.
Speaking at the Seanad on the 14th of February about climate change, the Minister said that “if it wasn’t for the enormity of the Brexit challenge, [climate change] is an issue that would be front and centre of all of our deliberations”.
“While the mitigation potential for agriculture is limited, agriculture can and must play a key role in contributing to Ireland’s climate and energy targets in the years ahead,” he told the Seanad.
Despite his emphasis on agriculture’s role to play in mitigating Ireland’s carbon footprint, he also criticised the position taken by environmentalist groups and politicians and their criticism of the Irish agriculture sector.
“Sometimes, if one was to believe all the negative commentary that is targeted at the Irish agriculture sector, one would almost believe you could produce food without producing greenhouse gases,” claimed Minister Creed.
“If you want to be fed, whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or meat-eating, they all have a carbon footprint, every one of them.”
He said that the strategy at the department is to have food production be as carbon efficient as is possible.
The Minister also suggested that the new CAP budget from 2020, which would focus more on mitigating climate change, would require 40% of the overall budget to contribute to environmental or climate action.
He highlighted the “importance of a well-funded CAP is more impertinent than ever if we want to see this ambition become a reality”.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.