Proceeding with “damaging” carbon budgets without analysing the costs and benefits is “downright crazy”.
That is according to deputy Mattie Mc Grath, leader of the Rural Independent Group.
The group of TDs believe that “maniacal” carbon budget recommendations are “bulldozing” rural Ireland.
They said they have “profound” implications for the rural economy, agriculture, transport, and home heating.
The Rural Independent Group warned the CCAC’s carbon budget recommendations would “destroy” the existing way of life in rural Ireland.
The group said proposed carbon budgets will have a “destructive” impact on society and the economy.
They will increase the costs of living even further while “chipping away” Ireland’s food production capacity into the future.
Deputy Mattie Mc Grath stated:
“The recommendations the lofty CCAC made, who are insulated from the pain, would hammer every sector crucial to rural life.
“This includes agriculture and transportation, with increased living costs, ending both turf cutting and one-off rural housing.”
“The government outsourced power to this quango under the Climate Action legislation.”
“The Rural Independent Group were the only grouping in the Dáil to exclusively oppose this nonsensical approach, which undermines democracy and removes input from ordinary citizens.”
“Warnings by our group around the damaging impact of climate change policies and devolution of power to an unelected quango have now come to pass.”
“Their technical report outlines a deep reduction in cattle numbers to meet higher climate targets.”
He said the report “aggressively” targets Ireland’s suckler herd to meet carbon targets.
“For instance, to achieve the recommended agricultural emissions reduction of 33%, suckler cow numbers would have to be reduced to approximately 20% on 2018 levels, which would represent a cull of about 200,000 alone.”
The group pointed to proposals to reduce the suckler cow herd to as low as 200,000 cows in one of the five scenarios in the report.
They said it “completely undermine” the important role farmers play to promote sustainable grazing and its beneficial impact in sequestering carbon.
They pointed to the first carbon budget, running from 2021 to 2025. It requires emissions to reduce by 4.8% on average each year for five years.
“The second budget, running from 2026 to 2030, will see emissions reduce by 8.3% on average each year.
“These proposals are not strategically planned. They come with no information on how the transition will work. This is despite the proposals costing billions to implement, which will the taxpayer will pay entirely for.”
“Ultimately, how these reductions are going to be achieved on a sector by sector basis will now be decided. Targets for each sector contained within the government’s climate plan will be reportedly released on November 3rd.”
Furthermore, the group has called on government to make a special dispensation for the agricultural sector and the transport sector in rural Ireland, where a lack of public transport means no alternatives exist.
“The government must wake up and halt this frenzied and fanatical approach,” McGrath concluded.