4 Farming Independent Tuesday 4 August 2020 Farming News Supreme Court singles out agriculture in climate plan verdict Ciaran Moran Act 2015 which required government to come up with a strategy to drive the country’s “transition to a lowcarbon, climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable economy by 2050” or national transition objective (NTO). The case was taken by a grouping of climate activists and organisations under the Friends of Irish Environment (FIE) banner. FIE want the Government to take more radical action to tackle the climate crisis. The seven Supreme Court judges found that the National Mitigation Plan was vague, lacked ambition and didn’t spell out what society at large was to do to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. In addition, the plan’s efforts to tackle emissions from agriculture were singled out for particular criticism. The judges said several of the proposals made in the agriculture chapter of the plan required “further research” into areas such as beef genomics and the behavioural barriers which influence farmers’ participation in environmental schemes. “This chapter also contains somewhat vague proposals to ‘continue to improve knowledge transfer and exchange to farmers by developing a network across State agencies and relevant advisory bodies’ and to ‘further develop the range and depth of sustainability information collected for beef, dairy and other agriculture sectors.’” The judges said there was “a clear statutory obligation on the Government, in formulating a plan, to at least give some realistic level of detail about how it is intended to meet the NTO.” The Government has started work on its new Climate Action Plan with a much more detailed strategy published last year which is now the country’s blueprint for tackling climate change. The new Climate Act will make all Government departments and ministers and all the agencies and bodies under their remit work within ‘carbon budgets’ and will require specific actions to reduce emissions and detail assessments of how they are performing. AGRICULTURE has been singled out in a unanimous Supreme Court judgement which found that the State failed to provide an adequate plan to tackle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change. The court criticised the National Mitigation Plan 2017, produced on foot of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development — —
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