Farmers drive tractors through Dublin city centre to protest Ireland's climate plans


By Nichola Daunton, EuroNews



The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) took to the streets of Dublin yesterday to protest against the government’s Climate Action Plan.


Close to 100 tractors drove through the capital, ending in Merrion Square where the farmers held a rally outside government buildings.


The Climate Action Plan was released earlier this month and it requires that the agricultural sector reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 22 to 30 per cent by 2030.


Ireland currently has the highest methane emissions per capita of all EU member states, with much of this due to beef production.


While the government claims the action plan “places farmers at the very centre” and that there will be “new income streams” to help farmers make the necessary changes, the IFA is worried by a new report from KPMG.


The report, ‘Ireland’s 2030 Carbon Emissions Targets - An Economic Impact Assessment for the Agricultural Sector’ predicts that if the Irish government demands a 30 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases, then 56,400 jobs will be lost in the sector by 2030.


Reaching 30 per cent would also require a 22 per cent reduction in beef farming in the country, which according to the Central Statistics Office, was home to 6.5 million cattle in 2013.


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