Beef exports and climate crisis

 

Sir, – Jack Horgan-Jones reports that the Taoiseach has appealed to the head of the Chinese government to reopen its market to Irish beef exports “as a matter of urgency”’ (News, January 23rd). Here is clear evidence that the Government speaks with a forked tongue when it comes to combating climate change.

On the Government’s own webpage, there is a publication, ironically from the Department of the Taoiseach, which states that, “the climate crisis is the defining challenge of our time. We have the opportunity to act now to mitigate the worst effects of climate change and secure a safer future for generations to come. On this page you can view the latest information on how Ireland is responding to this challenge”.

There is a section called “The importance of agriculture”, which states that, “Agriculture was responsible for 35.3 per cent of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. The main sources of emissions come from methane emitted by cattle and sheep, fertilisers, manures, animal faeces and urine and diesel for agricultural machinery.”

According to research published in the journal Science in 2018, avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way we as individuals can reduce our environmental impact on the planet.

How does appealing to the leader of the most populous nation on earth to reopen its market to such an extremely environmentally destructive product as a matter of urgency fit with the Government’s purported objectives of responding to the defining challenge of our time, mitigating the worst effects of climate change and securing a safer future for generations to come? – Yours, etc,

ROB SADLIER,

Rathfarnham,

Dublin 16.