The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), has confirmed to That’s Farming by means of an exclusive statement, its stance on a draft report on agriculture, which has sparked some backlash amongst the general public and political figures today (Monday, February 13th, 2023).
The body has stated that “it should be clarified that the report referred to is the output of a research project commissioned by the EPA, rather than an EPA report as stated”.
A spokesperson for the EPA told this publication’s editor, Catherina Cunnane, that the research was funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
The draft report – which spans 36 pages and has since been made available to That’s Farming – is part of the EPA Research Programme 2021-2030, a Government of Ireland initiative, and is named: Land Use Review: Fluxes, Scenarios, and Capacity Synthesis Report.
The cover reads that this is an EPS Research Evidence Synthesis Report, prepared for the Environmental Protection Agency by the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, School of Science and Computing, Atlantic Technological University, ATU Galway.
The documentation states that the report is administered by the EPA, which has the “statutory function of co-ordinating and promoting environmental research”.
The spokesperson told That’s Farming: “The EPA funds and commissions researchers in higher education institutions and research organisations to conduct independent scientific research on a diverse range of environmental topics.”
“The research outputs are intended as important contributions to the necessary debate on the protection of the environment, with a focus on informing policy solutions.”
“The EPA has been funding research in Ireland since 1994 and is currently funding more than 200 ongoing research projects,” the spokesperson added.
“The research study that is the subject of the article, titled Land Use Review: Fluxes, Scenarios, and Capacity, was conducted by researchers at Atlantic Technological University, ATU Galway.”
“The study explored the level of change required in agriculture and land use which would be commensurate with a net-zero AFOLU (agriculture, forestry, and other land use) sector by 2050, by developing a set of indicative scenarios.”
“These scenarios suggest that achieving net zero GHG emissions in AFOLU by 2050 will be very challenging.”
“As with any publicly funded independent research, any opinions, findings, or recommendations expressed in the research report are those of the authors and do not reflect a position or recommendation of the EPA.”
According to the spokesperson, the report is currently undergoing “final” preparation for publication by EPA and is scheduled for publication in early March.