Irish MEP Billy Kelleher has said that independent analyses of carbon emissions from farming in Ireland and the impact of various EU Green Deal plans such as the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies are urgently needed.

Kelleher made the call in order to build confidence in farmers that the EU is not out to ruin their livelihoods.

“We hear a lot about the damage that farming causes the environment, yet I question whether the full picture is being truly assessed. For example, has natural carbon sequesterisation been factored in, and what is the true net carbon output of farming in Ireland?

“Additionally, there is a fear that the stringent requirements under Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies will simply put many small and medium farmers out of business.

“We need an independent assessment, potentially by the ESRI, as to the impact on farm incomes from the resulting fall in productivity and ultimately profitability associated with these schemes.

“Irish farms are generally smaller than other European farms, and many of them do not have the same quality land as their counterparts in the rest of the EU. I question whether this was taken into account when they designed Farm to Fork and the Biodiversity strategy.

“When deciding such important and transformative schemes, the full facts are needed on the true and net impact of farming on the environment and how real lives will be affected.

“I think farmers are up for the challenge of improving their farming methods to protect the planet, but they want to see independent data used as the baseline. Is that too much to ask for,” concluded Kelleher.