Mayo TD Dara Calleary has argued that farmers deserve a lot more respect than they are getting in the debate around global warming and told a meeting of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party that farmers are angry at being portrayed as the “bogey men” of climate change in Ireland.
According to The Irish Times, Taoiseach Micheál Martin told his TDs and Senators that communities, especially farmers, would need to be brought along if the Coalition’s plan to cut greenhouse emissions by half before 2030 was to succeed.
But during a wide-ranging discussion ahead of the publication of the Government’s climate action plan, Mayo TD Dara Calleary told Tuesday night’s meeting meeting of the anger being expressed by farmers in the climate discussion, whom he said felt they were constantly portrayed as “the bogey men of climate change”. Those present said Mr Calleary told the meeting that farmers were guardians of the land going back thousands of years.
“They would be part of the solution and want to be part of it but deserve a lot more respect than they are getting in the debate,” he said.
Mr Martin said stark warnings heard at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow demonstrated that the planet was in trouble and science was telling us to act now.
“We must engage communities from the ground up,” he said. “A key focus will be on areas such as micro-generation, offshore renewables and sustainable transport.
“We must incentivise farmers and partner with them in the whole area of climate action. We want to bring communities with us and have a communities based response. Enabling communities to bid for funding on community climate action has to be part of our response.”
Mr Martin said the planet needs to respond to the threat of climate change now rather than in 10 years’ time.