ICMSA President, Pat McCormack, said that Minister Bruton was correct in facing the CO2 reductions problem ‘head-on’ but he cautioned against the environmentalist theory that had farming and commercial food production as a “problem that could not be part of the solution” and moved Ireland into what Mr. McCormack said was a completely false either/or choice where we ‘either’ have a commercial farming and food production sector and excessive carbon production, ‘or’ we dismantle our farming and food production sectors, meet our carbon reduction targets, but wipe out the economic basis of most of the state outside the cities and larger towns.
“ICMSA is committed to working with Minister Bruton on this, but we will ask for the economic reality to be treated with as much seriousness as the scientific and environmental reality, because in our opinion it’s no less valid. Farming and food production are not just a part of the rural economy; to a huge degree it is the total of our rural economy and undermining it through fuel tax hikes will simply destroy the only meaningful economy in whole swathes of the state outside the cities and larger towns. There is another way where the Government actually leads the sector and systematically assist and helps them through the process towards meaningful carbon reduction while preserving their economic input. That has to be the way Ireland goes on this. Our farming and agri-food sector are disproportionately important to us and it is also a comparatively low emission food production system; those are two facts that Ireland just has to factor into the policy to lower CO2 emissions in line with our commitments”, said Mr. McCormack.
Ends. 9 November 2018
Pat McCormack, 087-7608958
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office