Commenting on the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly concerning farming and greenhouse gas emissions, ICMSA President, Pat McCormack, said that while no-one disputed the right of anybody to comment on so pressing a matter, it was vital that those commentators were aware of progress already made and the overall context in which these matters should be discussed.
“For instance, since 2000 Irish farming has effectively decoupled emission from output – that’s to say that our increased output no longer results in proportionate increase in emissions. Those emissions are increasing overall but that is due to the very significant expansion in production that every observer estimates as required to feed increasing populations. The much more pertinent fact is that Ireland is the most environmentally-friendly location in Europe for milk production and the fifth in Europe for beef production. What we never learn from the Citizens’ Assembly discussions is – if the food isn’t going to be produced in Ireland in a proportionately environmentally friendly fashion, then where is it going to be produced and will it have less or more stress on the environment? We’d love to hear that question answered given that Ireland is the scientifically proven best location in Europe for dairy production. We are very conscious of the need to be proactive on this and in the area of anaerobic digestion, renewables and environmentally friendly fertilisers, ICMSA is totally committed to lowering our emissions as far and as fast as is practicable”, said Mr. McCormack.
“I do welcome any positive contribution to this because the challenge is vast. But I do caution against a situation where we seem to have two official or semi-official policies on something that’s too important for any confusion. I’ve said this before and I think it bears repetition: there already is a completely valid and empowered Citizens’ Assembly in Ireland; it’s called Dail Eireann and ICMSA thinks that that’s the forum for this kind of very fundamental and nationally strategic questions to be aired”, concluded the ICMSA President.
Ends 19 April 2018
Pat McCormack, 087-7608958
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office