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Teagasc Supporting Farmers for Climate Action - Industry Response

Teagasc Head of Education Dr Anne-Marie Butler was joined by Agriculture Industry leaders for a panel discussion at the launch of the Teagasc Climate Action Strategy on December 1st.

'Farmers will meet their targets - when the Irish put their mind to doing something - it gets done' - Marie Donnelly

'Farmers are up for the challenge' - Pat McCormack

'Agriculture could be the leading sector to meet it's targets' - TJ Flanagan 

'We have a low carbon footprint compared to many other countries' - Pat Murphy

'Embrace the science' - Tim Cullinan

'Give clear and direct messages to farmers' - Pat Murphy

Above are some of the clear positive messages arising from the panel disscussion at the launch of the Teagasc Climate Action Strategy. The panel consisted of:

  • Marie Donnelly, Chair of the Climate Change Advisory Council
  • Tim Cullinan, IFA President
  • Pat McCormack, ICMSA President
  • Pat Murphy, Dairy Industry Ireland
  • Philip Carroll, Chair of Meat Industry Ireland

A number of concerns were also expressed, some of these related to the Sustainability Platform. Farmers will engage with this but it is important to ensure there is no duplication 'farmers hate duplication'. Reassurances will be needed regarding the use and protection of data. 

Targets not met

Currently Ireland is not meeting it's climate change targets. If the first early targets are not met these will be added to the second set making achievement more challenging. 

Support for farmers 

A number of speakers addressed the issue of support for farmers. Many other sectors tasked with reducing emissions such as transport and energy, are being subsidised and supported to help meet their targets. What support will be available to farmers? Marie Donnelly, Chair of the Climate Change Advisory Council said support would be available for farmers. 

The future

Farmers are resilient and every farmer needs to take a move forward and keep moving forward to deliver on targets. 

We already have 75% of the science needed to meet our the targets. We need to embrace the science and talk about the 'wins'. Good communication is essential.

'We need to accelerate and to do so urgently'