Farmers must be supported to meet Climate Act targets - McAleer
Sinn Féin MLA Declan McAleer has said that there is a responsibility on the British government to support farmers in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to meet climate change targets.
The West Tyrone MLA said:
“At long last we are moving towards our own Climate Change Act in accordance with the 2015 Paris Agreement and the New Decade New Approach commitments. It is regrettable that we are the only part of these islands that has not got a Climate Change Act.
“I believe this sends out a wrong and misleading message about our commitment to sustainable agriculture practises, when in fact this region has a world beating record of safe, traceable, sustainable and environmentally friendly food production.
“In recent weeks, I have participated in meetings with the British government Climate Change Committee, DAERA and the Business, Energy, & Industrial Strategy Committee on this subject.
“I made the case that as a region of 1.8 million people we produce enough food for over 10 million people each year, which is in stark contrast to Britain which is only 58% self-sufficient.
“We export a huge amount of food to Britain and in the context of Climate Act targets, Westminster has a duty to support our farm businesses reduce their carbon emissions through a just transition. We need to reduce emissions while not diminishing our food producing capacity which is worth £5 billion per year to the local economy.
“It is important the voices of farmers are heard in the design and development of a Climate Change Act for the north.”