Knowledge for better food systems

Not so Green: Debunking the Myths around Irish Agriculture

This report by members of the Environmental Pillar and Stop Climate Chaos aims to better inform discussions across civil society, media and government, and at EU policy level, regarding Ireland’s climate, energy, and wider environmental responsibilities.

It draws on extensive policy and scientific evidence to challenge government and industry claims regarding the sustainability of Irish agriculture, in terms of its efficiency, its contribution to global food security, and its adequacy in climate mitigation. The document also highlights inadequacies in the Irish Government’s approach to LULUCF (Land use, land use change and forestry), and opposes the argument that afforestation presents a viable option to offset emissions from agriculture.

The report argues that Ireland should provide more support to farmers to transition away from intense ruminant production to more sustainable agriculture, recognising and working with Ireland’s unique cultural and ecological heritage, and promoting healthier and less ecologically-damaging diets for the general population. The main argument is that Irish agriculture and nature policy should support livelihoods and conserve biodiversity through low-intensity farming and agriculture policy should be re-aligned toward reducing emissions, restoring biodiversity and water quality.

Read the full report here.

See more about food and agriculture policy, biodiversity and ecosystems, land use and land use change, production efficiency/intensity.

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Europe

Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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