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Details of European Commission Climate Change Consultation Revealed

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Details of European Commission Climate Change Consultation Revealed

Details of European Commission Climate Change Consultation Revealed
July 08
09:05 2015

Insights into the results of an EU-wide European Commission public consultation on how land-use and forestry can be used to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions were revealed for the first time at a recent event hosted in Dublin, Ireland as part of the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) and the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) Leadership Forum on Climate-Smart Agriculture.

Heads of Unit from the European Commission Directorates General on Climate Action, Peter Wehrheim and Agriculture, Mauro Poinelli, were in Dublin to share the details with agriculture stakeholders, including Ireland’s leading dairy ingredients company, Glanbia Ingredients Ireland, who are a lead supporter of the ‘Climate-Smart Agriculture Leadership Forum’.

One hundred and thirty four contributions were received from across Europe into the milestone public consultation process, which will form part of a legal proposal on Climate Change measures from the Commission to the European Parliament in 2016.

Tom Arnold, Director General of the Institute of International and European Affairs, said: “Under EU legislation, Ireland’s emissions must be cut by 20 % by 2020 – this is the most challenging target among EU member states. With more than 40 % of our emissions coming from agriculture, it is has to be an area of continued priority. Sustainable and carbon-efficient production of food is seen as a key element of Irish strategic competitiveness and through continued engagement, stakeholders across the agri-food sector must continue to work together to create a ‘climate-smart’ solution for this Irish problem.”

Tom Kirley, RDS Agriculture Chair, said: “Climate smart agriculture offers a ‘triple-win’ of: increasing farm productivity and incomes; building resilience to the impacts of climate change; while reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. The Leadership Forum is about future-proofing the long-term success and sustainability of Irish agriculture using the best scientific evidence available, making Ireland a climate smart agriculture leader in policy and practice.”

Commenting on Ireland’s emission challenges, guest speaker Peter Wehrheim remarked: “A range of policy measures, some of them supported by the CAP, have been designed to drive climate smart agriculture and expand afforestation in Ireland in a way to balance carbon mitigation and ensure the potential for sustainable increases in food production. As research done for the Irish Government has shown, there exists a significant amount of mitigation potential in the agriculture sector, including win-win mitigation options, which can be harnessed to help meet Ireland’s greenhouse gas targets.”

Glanbia Ingredients Ireland (GII) and Diageo are joint lead supporters of the RDA/IIEA Climate-Smart Agriculture Leadership Forum. More than 50 senior stakeholders from the agri food sector attended the event held in the IIEA in Dublin, including representatives from Government, Non-Governmental Organisations, advocacy groups, and representative bodies.

GII CEO, Jim Bergin, said: “GII is committed to sustainably growing our increased milk supply in the post quota era. In fact, sustainability is central to our business model. It is an ongoing and significant challenge to balance the impact of increased dairy production with the need to cut our overall emissions. However we believe that through integration of Agriculture with LULUCF (land use land use change and forestry), allowing for offset of emissions, along with comprehensive initiatives on farm such as Origin Green and Glanbia’s Open Source programme, that this can be achieved. We see the RDA/IIEA Climate-Smart Leadership Forum as a critical vehicle for consultation on policy development in the post-quota era.”

For more information on the RDS/IIEA Climate-Smart Agriculture Leadership Forum’ click here.

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