Blog: Agriculture emissions: TD warns against ‘Brexit-scenario’ of drawn-out talks – The Irish Times

The agriculture sector does not want “a Brexit scenario” that sees drawn-out negotiations over greenhouse gas emissions reduction, a Fianna Fáil TD has said.

Officials and Ministers spent much of Wednesday locked in negotiations on reducing agriculture emissions after late-night talks on Tuesday failed to yield a deal. Officials said negotiations were continuing.

West Cork TD Christopher O’Sullivan said the agriculture sector wants action now and that “kicking the can down the road isn’t going to help.”

“Everybody wants certainty. They don’t want the Brexit scenario here, they don’t want something that is long and drawn out,” he told RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland.

Mr O’Sullivan said he thought it would be a disaster to push back a decision on emission targets to September.

“It would be a disaster for two reasons: one, we are running out of time when it comes to taking action on climate change … we need to take action now. Kicking the can down the road isn’t going to help.

“Secondly, and just as important to me … when we talk about farming in west Cork, this isn’t the big expansive farm which some people refer to as big dairy. Family farms here are between 90 and 100 or maybe 150 cows and these farmers are concerned, they’re anxious, they’re worried about what limits may mean for them in the future and they want an answer now,” he said.

“Prolonging this isn’t going to help, it’s just going to increase things, it’s going to increase the finger pointing that is going on at the ag sector which I think is very unfair.”

Mr O’Sullivan was hopeful that a target could be agreed today.

When asked what target level for agriculture Fianna Fáil would like to see, he said it would not be the 30 per cent emissions cut being advocated by the Greens.

“We think that figure would have a huge detrimental impact on what is a really important industry for rural parts of Ireland. At the same time we’re not signing up to the Rural Independents or Sinn Féin policy where they don’t have an opinion on it.”

“Whatever happens is going to be a huge challenge. In other sectors such as transport there are alternatives … unfortunately in agriculture because the technology isn’t there at the moment, anything up around the 30 per cent mark is going to lead to job losses so we have to embrace technology,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

“We have to get serious about climate action.”

Officials and Ministers spent much of Wednesday locked in negotiations on reducing agriculture emissions after late-night talks on Tuesday failed to yield a deal. Officials said negotiations were continuing.

After pessimism earlier in the week, multiple sources involved in the talks reported that progress was being made and the sides were coming closer together. However, they cautioned that nothing final been agreed and that a deal was unlikely to be struck before Thursday.

The Government on Wednesday night reported it did not implement more than half of the measures in its climate action plan during the second quarter of the year, as Ministers again failed to reach agreement on an emissions reduction target for the agriculture sector.

A progress report on the Climate Action Plan, noted at Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, found that just 45 per cent of the 162 specific measures due to be taken in April, May and June were actually implemented.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s