Environmental Pillar withdrawal from AgFood strategy is cause for concern – agriculture must be part of climate and biodiversity solutions

25 February 2021

Labour climate spokesperson Duncan Smith TD has described the decision by the Environmental Pillar to withdraw from the talks on the National Food Strategy as a source of concern.

The Pillar announced its decision today and wrote accordingly to Taoiseach Michael Martin.

Deputy Smith called on the Minister for the Agriculture and the Minister for Climate Action to attempt to resolve this issue and ensure that Ireland’s new agricultural strategy is consistent with the scale of both the climate and biodiversity crises. The AgClimate document published by the Department of Agriculture last year is only consistent with the climate ambitions set out in 2019, whereas the Programme for Government resets our ambition at a totally higher level.

Deputy Smith said:

“The reality is that agricultural activity, at over 33% of emissions, constitutes an unusually high proportion of Irish emissions and that there is no trajectory to the Government’s climate goals, soon to be encapsulated in law, that do not involve this sector. In addition, the report by the National Biodiversity Forum earlier this month shows how perilous our position is and the need for concerted action. 

“That is why it is so concerning that the Environmental Pillar have chosen to withdraw from discussions on Agri-Food 2030.  The Minister’s involved should engage immediately with the Pillar in a meaningful way and seek to get this important strategy document back on track from both an environmental and commercial perspective.”

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