With New Zealand’s new Agriculture Minister saying his country “may have got close to the maximum number of cows”, and countries like Ireland coming under increasing pressure to decouple agricultural growth from greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the question of who will feed growing global populations gets more relevant by the day, writes Stephen Cadogan.
New Zealand is the No 1 dairy exporter in the world, but the new Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, says cutting livestock herds is one of the things that has to be considered, to meet their climate change obligations.
Ireland is a “food island” of 5m people that produces enough food for 25m, and which has plans to feed even more mouths.
But farmers, along with households, business, and communities, are now called on to tackle GHG emissions, if Ireland is to reap benefits of a low-carbon economy.
This call follows the Environmental Protection Agency announcing this week that estimated GHG emissions increased significantly in 2016, by 6.1% in the energy industry, 3.7% in transport, and 2.7% in agriculture.
The increasing emissions make achievement of Ireland’s long-term decarbonisation goals ever more difficult.
Source: Irish Examiner