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‘Last week, it was a culling of the national herd; this week, it is the elimination of cars on Irish roads’

In this article, Independent TD for Roscommon-Galway, Michael Fitzmaurice, criticises calls for the number of cars on Irish roads to be limited.

A recent media reports suggest that senior government officials have said that families may be forced to abandon their second car if higher-level carbon emission targets for the agriculture sector cannot be agreed upon.

The article says that the government will be assessing the option of a reduction in the number of cars on roads if a 30% reduction in carbon emissions from agriculture is not met.

The government had previously confirmed that agricultural emissions will have to be cut by between 22% and 30% by 2030.

Members of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are eager for the emissions cut to be close to 22%.

Meanwhile, Green Party TDs, including Minister Eamon Ryan, are keen for the figure to be 30%.

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Climate policy

Climate policy objectives will only be met if we can achieve public buy-in and bring everyone along on the journey.

Scapegoating and attempting to create division among different sections of the population will only hurt these goals.

Every sector will have to do its part. However, the agricultural sector has every right to seek a fair deal for itself, no matter what the so-called environmental experts say.

The state has not accounted for a single tree outside of the manicured forests in its calculations.

It is especially unhelpful when the government decides to pit different groups against one another.

Just because the agricultural sector is seeking some common sense concessions, does not mean road users must be punished.


Rural communities, in particular, are facing a frontal assault here.

They are being told that local farmers vital to rural communities must comply with unreasonable emissions cuts or they must give up their cars, which they rely on massively in areas lacking in public transport.

The Green Party is trying to turn the rest of society against the agricultural sector, but it will not work.

The wider public realises how unrealistic and unjust many of their climate policies are. They are willing to stand by each other against them.

Last week, it was a culling of the national herd; this week, it is the elimination of cars on Irish roads.

People realise that these policies are pie in the sky and are looking for their political representatives in Dáil Éireann to deliver real solutions, not nonsense.

Other farming news on That’s Farming:

‘A reduction in our cattle numbers would be devastating to the industry’

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