Eco Notes May 2023

May 2023

Government action not fines

Mary Donnelly heads the Irish Climate Change Advisory Council. It would make huge economic sense for the government to take on board some of her comments. To increase carbon uptake, Ireland needs to plant 8,000 hectares of woodland annually, but at present we are only achieving 2,000 ha/year. We urgently need to set specific targets on land use to indicate how we will reach net zero C emissions. Farming practices have always changed through time and this needs to continue, but farmers will need advice and substantial financial support to adopt sustainable farming practices. Emissions need to decrease across ALL sectors, yet in Ireland they are actually increasing. By 2030, it is estimated that Ireland will be paying a minimum of €8 billion on carbon credits to offset emissions, BUT carbon credits may not be available as so many other countries will be doing likewise. It would make much more sense to spend €8billion on reducing our emissions, instead of paying fines, and to transition to a low carbon lifestyle, not just on farms but in urban areas too. The challenge is for individuals, companies, industries and government to heed the advice of Mary Donnelly.