Published: Fri, 22 May 2015
Seán Kelly MEP (Ireland South) has called on colleagues in the EU Institutions to recognise the important role of agriculture in achieving emission reductions as global negotiations continue towards a new international agreement on Climate Change. The agreement is set to be finalised in December of this year at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris.
Mr. Kelly is currently leading negotiations on Climate Change for the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and will put forward his recommendations for the Paris Agreement later this month.
The Fine Gael MEP noted that the reporting of agricultural emissions must take into account the enormous mitigation potential of carbon sinks in forestry, grassland and peatland. “The agreement we reach should offset these emissions against the carbon stored by the agricultural sector,” he said.
“It is also crucial to any agreement that carbon leakage provisions are maintained in the long-term and strengthened where necessary. We must not have a situation in which, due to overly-strict environmental requirements that fail to adequately address carbon leakage, the sustainable, grass-based agricultural processes we have in Ireland are displaced by unsustainable processes elsewhere.”
As negotiations continue, it is becoming increasingly likely that parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will agree to a binding international agreement setting out plans to keep global average temperature to less than 2oC above pre-industrial levels.
MEP Kelly welcomed the ambition that has been shown thus far: “Global climate change is one of the key challenges facing us today. For the sake of ours and future generations, we must ensure that we reach the 2oC objective and I am pleased to see the position of leadership that the EU has taken in committing to reduce domestic emissions by 40% compared to 1990 by 2030.
“I look forward to the conclusion of an ambitious agreement in Paris that is fair to all parties in its mitigation requirements”, he concluded.