Macra na Feirme President John Keane
Young farmers and generational renewal have been completely overlooked in the the Government's Climate Action Plan, according to Macra na Feirme.
Responding to the actions outlined to provide a roadmap for Agriculture to meet a reduction in emissions by 2030 of between 22-30% based on 2018 levels, Macra na Feirme President John Keane condemned the list which he noted does not have a single action which addresses the issue of generational renewal.
“Not once in the almost sixty actions are young farmers mentioned, our future in the sector is being decided at the moment and there is not one single action contained to address the barriers we meet in the sector”, said Mr Keane.
Young people and youth are mentioned several times through the document, but not under the
agriculture heading, the young farmers' organisation points out. Macra na Feirme has consistently articulated that young farmers are essential to mitigation of climate change and yet they say they are excluded from the plan when it comes to agriculture.
“It is the young farmers of today who will be involved in farming over the next decade and beyond that will have their lives and livelihoods affected by changes in policy and the environment. The current generation and indeed future generations of young farmers see the positive role we can play in protecting our local environment and playing our part in climate change,” Mr Keane said.
“Across the globe young people are having their voices heard and are involved in the climate discussion and debate while also being part of the solutions at COP26. What has been published today has no direct action for our Irish young farmers. Young farmers who are highly educated, who want to be drivers of environmental change and progress,” said Mr Keane who has just returned from COP26 in Glasgow.
“Over the past five years in excess of €200 million has been invested by Irish young farmers, on farm improvements which included numerous climate mitigation measures, young farmers have demonstrated their commitment to addressing climate change with action”, added Keane.
“No clear action is detailed to allow young people enter the sector over the next decade to address and deal with the climate targets as laid out. We have heard as recent as this week the Taoiseach speak about a sustainable future for young farmers in the sector but once again talk is cheap and actions are once more failing in securing a future in Irish farming for young people,” Mr Keane concluded.
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