Denis Naughten TD has said that he is disappointed that the Environment Minister Eamon Ryan has rejected an amendment based on the Climate Change Advisory Council recommendation for a separate climate target for farm generated (biogenic) methane which would ensure that the agricultural sector does not face a disproportionate share of the climate reduction targets over the coming years.
Despite the recommendation of the Climate Change Advisory Council and similar approaches being taken by the EU, the UK and New Zealand a country with a similar climate challenges to that faced by Ireland, there was not a single voice at the committee willing to support Denis Naughten’ s amendment.
“While Minister Ryan and his predecessor Richard Bruton both acknowledged that there was a need to take a different approach to methane coming from agriculture and that coming from fossil fuels, the Climate Bill will not reflect this is law as a result of today’s debate, which I believe will place an unacceptable burden on family farms and on those managing marginal farmland” said Denis Naughten.
“I expressed a real concern that as currently drafted the Climate Bill incentivises other Government Departments to use agriculture as a scapegoat for the failures to meet their individual climate targets.
“Real climate action must be about encouraging people along the climate journey in a constructive and positive way with the aim of achieving the goal we all want: a long-term sustainable planet for our children and their children”.
“But I believe that the failure to clearly reflect this recommendation of the Climate Change Advisory Council recommendation in the legislation will undermine the overall objective behind the Climate Bill, and lead to an un-necessary backlash from the farming community” says Denis Naughten TD.
“Despite scaremongering by some so-called environmentalists this amendment does not mean that agriculture and farming should have a free pass. As I outlined at the Committee today managing our land use better can take even more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, reducing its harmful effects on the climate and the oceans far quicker than shutting down farming” concluded Denis Naughten