THE government’s 200-page climate action plan shows it disproportionately targets all rural residents for skyrocketing increases to living costs and removal of ways to earn a living.
That’s according to Cork South West Deputy Michael Collins and his colleagues on the Rural Independent Group who said the ‘pie-in-the-sky fanatical climate action plan will cost three times more than the bank bailout, funded primarily by borrowings, ramp up living costs for every Irish citizen, while doing absolutely nothing to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.’
‘Warnings by our group around the damaging impact of climate change policies and devolution of power to an unelected quango have now come to pass, as this plan outlines a deep reduction in emissions to transportation and agriculture,’ said Deputy Collins.
He said the government has been using ‘slippery language around any potential cut to the national cattle herd, such as claiming a “sustainable” solution would be optimal, while the Agriculture Minister has announced that funding under the new CAP strategic plan 2023-2027 would only fund 40% of the suckler herd’.
‘We will not be fooled by such cynical spin,’ he insisted.
He said the plan also had a ‘bitter bias against the common car,’ despite a lack of charging stations, unreliable electricity supply and skyrocketing electric costs, ‘not to mention the high price of these new cars.’
However, Minister of State for Biodiversity Pippa Hackett said the plan gives a blueprint to ‘put climate and biodiversity at the core of everything we do.
“If we are to protect the model of the Irish family farm, and protect farm incomes, we must genuinely farm for and with nature. Our grass-based farming system is our competitive advantage, making us among the most sustainable producers in the world.
‘It will give farmers certainty after what has been a really challenging, uncertain period for farmers with Cap reform and Brexit.’
Skibbereen and West Cork local area representative for the Green Party, Rory Jackson said the benefits of the plan would outweigh any challenges.
‘Farming will see major positive developments that will enable farming to be more carbon neutral and less reliant on chemicals in its production of our foods and these must become more sustainable. The future of food production has to be sustainable for the benefit of future generations,’ he said.
‘The increase of EV and hybrid vehicles in the marketplace will see a huge reduction in the overall carbon footprint. For rural communities this will be a challenge but with more people being encouraged to work from home commuter traffic will be significantly reduced.’