Greening the Emerald Isle: Minister Ryan urges government to pay farmers for restoring nature

Minister Eamon Ryan Urges Payment for Farmers to Produce Quality Food and Restore Nature in Ireland

The Minister for Environment, Climate, Communications and Transport, Eamon Ryan, has called for farmers to be paid for producing quality food and helping to restore nature. Speaking at the National Economic Dialogue 2023 in Dublin, the minister emphasised the need for Ireland to prioritise climate and nature and deliver the National Development Plan and the Climate Action Plan with speed, scale and ambition. The event brought together representatives from all sectors to discuss key issues ahead of Budget 2024, including a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for agriculture by 2030.

Minister Ryan stressed the importance of keeping people at the heart of government priorities, ensuring a better quality of life and opportunities in 2030 than there are now. This can be achieved by paying farmers to produce quality food and restore nature, ending child poverty, and creating well-paying green jobs powered by clean, homegrown energy. During the event, the minister chaired a discussion on the Climate Action Plan and how to prioritise emissions reductions within each sector.

Another discussion, chaired by the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Martin Heydon, focused on the government’s Food Vision 2030 strategy and the need for a sustainable food system. The briefing document highlighted the challenges facing the agricultural sector in delivering a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, including reducing reliance on chemical fertilisers, biogenic methane emissions from the national herd, nutrient loss to waterways, and increasing afforestation and organic farming.

The National Economic Dialogue provided an open exchange on economic and social priorities, with participants including agri-business and farming, environmental groups, business unions, community and voluntary groups, trade unions and academic organisations. The event enabled discussions on key issues such as climate action, sustainable food systems and emissions reductions. The government’s commitment to paying farmers to produce quality food and restore nature demonstrates a clear focus on addressing climate and nature priorities.

As Ireland moves towards a more sustainable future, it is crucial that all sectors work together to achieve ambitious emissions reductions and restore nature. The government’s plans for the National Development Plan and the Climate Action Plan will require speed, scale and ambition to deliver the necessary changes. By paying farmers to produce quality food and help restore nature, the government is taking a step towards a more sustainable future for Ireland.

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons is the founder of Forestry & Carbon. Matt has over 25 years as a forestry consultant and is invoilved in numerous carbon credit offset projects.

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