Farmers in Canada and Ireland warn that new emission restrictions will affect food production

Canada and Ireland are developing policies that force farmers to reduce carbon emissions to the point where they say they affect food production. Despite the potential negative impact, the policy seems to have achieved very little results on the “decarbonization” agenda.

Some Canadian province officials have recently set a goal of reducing emissions from the use of synthetic fertilizers by 30% by 2030 without first consulting the state on “what is achievable or achievable”. He criticized the federal government for setting it up.

“The state urged the federal government to discuss this important topic, but was disappointed to find that the goals had already been set,” the Agriculture Ministers of Saskatchewan and Alberta said on July 22. release..

According to a study commissioned by industry group Fertilizer Canada last year, a 20% reduction in fertilizer usage could result in Canadian farmers’ yields of more than $ 48 billion by 2030. there is(pdf).

“This was the most expensive crop everyone had put in after a very difficult year in the prairie,” Alberta’s Agriculture Minister Nate Horner said in a statement.

“The world wants Canada to increase production and become a solution to global food shortages. The federal government needs to show that they understand this.”

According to the Government of Canada, the use of synthetic fertilizers is responsible for less than 2 percent of Canada’s carbon emissions. data.. Second, Canada accounts for about 1.4 percent of world emissions.

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A oyster farmer at Culmore Point in Rough Foil on the border between Londonderry, Northern Ireland and Donegal, Republic of Ireland, April 26, 2017. (PAULFAITH / AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, the Canadian fertilizer industry already has a program called 4R Nutrient Stewardship. When deployed throughout major agricultural areas, the program will reduce emissions by 15-22% while increasing profits through more efficient use of fertilizers. Therefore, the government’s claim of a 30% figure is what the industry is trying to achieve on its own, about 0.1-0.2% of Canada’s 2019 emissions and about 0.002-0.005% of global emissions. It means to reduce beyond.

Ireland is in a similar situation.Charlie McConalogue, Minister of Agriculture Reportedly He is trying to agree on a 27% or 28% carbon emission reduction target for his sector.

Agriculture accounts for more than one-third of the country’s carbon equivalent emissions. This is especially due to the robust pastoral farming, which supports not only the domestic market but also important exports of beef and dairy products.

The Irish Government’s climate plan requires a 22 to 30 percent reduction. At the upper end of the range, the plan causes a “significant reduction in production” and potentially “destroys the Irish agricultural sector,” said Tim Cullinan, chairman of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA). Said before..

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A beef cattle farm in Lifford, Ireland, January 9, 2015. (Charles McQuillan / Getty Images)

Ireland’s agricultural emissions amount to about 21 megatons of CO2 annually. Reducing it by 28% will reduce global emissions by 0.05%.

Cullinan is wondering what it will do if other countries do not follow it.

“We need to wonder what it’s for,” he said at a demonstration in November, The Irish Times. report..

He pointed out that Ireland already operates one of the “most efficient” farming operations in the world.

In effect, regulations to reduce agriculture have recently sparked massive protests in the Netherlands, leading to the economic collapse of Sri Lanka.

The final round of carbon emission targets was promised by the government at last year’s COP26 Climate Summit. Many climate scientists have historically not achieved more catastrophic forecasts, but predict that increased emissions will cause more serious meteorological events such as storms and droughts.

Critics point out that the “decarbonization” agenda will reduce living standards without making meaningful changes in climate. For one thing, China and India, the world’s largest carbon emitters, do not intend to shrink their economies to reduce carbon.

Petr Svab


Petr Svab is a reporter covering New York. Previously, it covered domestic topics such as politics, economics, education, and law enforcement.