Why are farmers engaging with climate change
Farmers right across the country are engaging with climate change and taking action to reduce the impact that their farming system has on the environment.
With the help of all partners to the Signpost Programme, they are putting plans in place to adopt the many technologies available to them to reduce emissions. Here, we identify the main motivations for making a change.
It’s the right thing to do
We all have a responsibility to our families, future generations of farmers, local communities as well as wider society to minimise our impact on the environment. We are fortunate to live in a beautiful and diverse part of the world. Our children, and all future generations of farmers, deserve the same. Farmers take great pride in how they look after the environment is which they live and farm. While much work has been done and continues to be done, we need to do more to reduce our gaseous emissions.
Controlling what happens on my farm
In Ireland, we are legally bound by many international agreements, EU policy as well as national policy in the area of climate action. These include the Paris Agreement, the Farm to Fork Strategy, at the heart of the European Green Deal as well as the National Climate Action Bill. Programmes like the Signpost Programme will contribute to reducing GHG emissions by supporting farmers as they adopt the technologies that reduce our carbon footprint. But these policies, future regulations and incentives will all impact on how we farm in the near future. Farmers want to control what happens on their farms.
Farmers right across the country are engaging with climate change and taking action to reduce the impact that their farming system has on the environment. With the help of all partners to the Signpost Programme, they are putting plans in place to adopt the many technologies available to them to reduce emissions. In this clip, meet some of the Signpost Farmers as they bring us on their journey to playing their part in a national effort to address climate change.
Protect our markets
The Agricultural sector in Ireland is an important industry, employing 164,400 people. We export 90% of what we produce with an export value of €14.5 billion. According to NDC, 79% of Irish consumers agree that for the preservation of our planet we need to change the way we consume and produce food. Globally, consumers want food that has a low environmental impact. According to Bord Bia’s Dietary Lifestyle Report, 65% of people are making more of an effort to be aware of the environment around them. Consumers want food that has a low environmental footprint and we need to be able to meet the demands of our customers. Farmers want to produce a product that the consumer wants to buy.
Climate Change will impact all of us
Very often when we think of climate change and its impact we think of the droughts in Africa or the polar bears on the ice caps in the North Pole or the bush fires in Australia. But the impact of climate change will be felt by all of us much closer to home. Weather events like the difficult Spring of 2018 and the more regular droughts we have are all related to climate change.
Potential Cost Savings & Opportunites
Many of the actions that farmers are being asked to implement to reduce gaseous emissions can also result in cost savings i.e. a win-win situation, with benefits for the environment and the farmer’s pocket. Amongst other actions, improving EBI, improved grazing management, more days at grass, improved animal health, incorporating clover as well as addressing low soil pH all contribute to reducing gaseous emissions as well as reducing input costs and improving profitability. It’s a win win for farmers.
Farming is part of the solution to climate change. Our soils, our hedgerows and our forestry are all carbon sinks. This will create opportunities in the future.
Finally, Irish farmers have a long track record of adapting to change and we are doing it again to reduce our emissions. Irish farmers and the industry are committed to playing their part in a national effort to address climate change, by creating a more sustainable industry.
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