Ireland’s agricultural emissions in context

 

Sir, – The Green Party appears to have negotiated a substantial policy victory with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael that reflects their core policies.

However, its concerns on climate change are not reflected among the general public which places it quite low in its policy concerns.

Perhaps the underlying reason for this can be found in the sense of pointlesness in Ireland pursuing an economic policy that hinders its economic growth when we account for a mere 0.02 per cent of world emissions and 1.4 per cent of the total EU greenhouse gas emissions.

 In an EU context, in 2017 Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions was 63,805 tonnes in comparison to Germany’s 936,003 tonnes and the UK’s 505,000 tonnes. If agricultural production ceased entirely in Ireland the overall EU greenhouse gas emissions would reduce by a paltry 0.44 per cent.

Also the fact that Ireland has no heavy industrial base disproportionately inflates agriculture as a significant contributor of greenhouse gas emissions. For instance German agriculture, significantly greater than Ireland’s in volume terms accounts for only 7 per cent of its total emissions.

 Anything Ireland does to reduce its emissions may well make the Greens happy, but at what cost to Ireland’s economy while also having negligible impact on global emissions or climate change? – Yours, etc,

TOM FINN,

Ballinasloe, Co Galway.