Irish Agriculture “Not So Green”

Raised bog being drained for peat extraction. Photo Fintan Kelly
Raised bog being drained for peat extraction. Photo Fintan Kelly

By Olivia O’Mahony, Editorial Assistant
August / September 2016

Ireland’s current agricultural practices are unsustainable, say N.G.O. coalitions Stop Climate Chaos and the Environmental Pillar in their new report, “Not So Green: Debunking the Myths Around Irish Agriculture.” The report explicitly counters government and industry discourses that portray Ireland’s farming and land-use strategies as environmentally sound.

The study shows that methane production per head of Irish cattle has increased since 1990. The amount of methane emitted per calorie of bovine food produced in Ireland comes in at over two tons a year; a significantly high figure compared to the European average of approximately 1.75.

“Due to increasing emissions, the livestock sector is actively contributing to increased climate pollution and global food insecurity, putting the lives and livelihoods of some of the world’s poorest populations at risk,” Catherine Devitt, spokesperson for Stop Climate Chaos, says.

Ireland’s current goals for expansion of the livestock sector indicate that it will fail to meet its targets for the Paris Agreement, an agreement signed by 178 parties in April aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions. ♦

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