Social Democratic and Labour Party Agriculture Spokesperson Patsy McGlone MLA has said that a sustainable future for the farming businesses is the key to reducing carbon emissions and tackling the climate crisis.
Speaking during an Assembly debate today, the Mid Ulster MLA said:
“The agri-food and farming sectors are major contributor’s to the North’s economy, employing significant numbers of people in all of our communities. But we also know that the sectors are one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions and supporting them to a low carbon future is critical in our efforts to tackle the climate crisis.
“The farming model that agriculture policy to date encourages has contributed to the long-term decline in the health of our natural environment – in biodiversity loss, rising Greenhouse Gas emissions, declining water and air quality. We have the opportunity to build a new farming system that is fit for the future. That supports profitable, productive farming which also directly tackles the climate crisis and enhances biodiversity.
“It is not rocket science, but it might require a change of mindset for some – including, perhaps, the Minister.
“That will mean exploring funding for ecosystem services and climate sensitive land management like maintaining flood plains, sustainable forestry management and other practices that not only reduce carbon emissions but actively promote CO2 capture efforts. No one understands the importance of preserving nature and biodiversity more than our rural communities. We need to work with them to transition to the sustainable future that our planet needs.”