Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Ireland Dirty Man of Europe?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Wash DC
    Posts
    8,717

    Default Ireland Dirty Man of Europe?


    The piece below is from PoliticoPro, a subscription service as distinct from their free material.

    The not-so-green Emerald Isle

    -- By Sara Stefanini and Emmet Livingstone
    5/18/16, 6:43 PM CET
    Ireland doesn’t have coal mines or a heavily polluting industrial sector, yet it is one of the EU’s laggards in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The main reason is excessive animal gas output — or to put it less politely, cow burps and farts.


    A second factor is Ireland’s rebounding economy, which cratered in the aftermath of the 2008 global crisis but is now the fastest growing in the eurozone. That means lots more cement, electricity and other polluting activities.


    But what’s good for business isn’t always good for climate change.
    That has Ireland scrambling to find a way to reduce its emissions without undercutting its economy and is why Dublin is pushing hard to get carbon credits from the EU for planting trees. But critics doubt Ireland can plant enough trees fast enough, or whether that solution is a fair one, and the Emerald Isle has concerns about cleaning up its act when other countries are more offensive polluters.


    The combination of a burgeoning dairy sector and a robust economy means Ireland will reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated by agriculture, transport, residential and waste by only 6 percent to 11 percent by 2020 — well short of its relatively high EU-mandated goal of a 20 percent reduction from 2005 levels, according to its Environmental Protection Agency.


    Industries in Ireland covered by the EU’s Emissions Trading System, such as power generation, aviation and cement, haven’t fared too well either lately, increasing carbon dioxide emissions by 5.5 percent from 2014 to 2015, while the rest of the EU’s dropped by 0.4 percent, the agency reported.


    The result, climate and environmental advocates say, is a government that talks about cutting carbon dioxide emissions but not at the cost of its methane-emitting cows. Agriculture is responsible for about a third of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions, compared to around a tenth in the rest of Europe. It’s also an economic bright-spot that the government doesn’t want to damage.


    “Agriculture is important to the Irish economy, just like car building is important to the German economy,” said Jim O’Toole, director of the meat department at Bord Bia, the Irish state food board.


    With nearly 7 million, the country has more cattle than people, and milk and beef account for nearly 70 percent of Ireland’s agricultural output. Beef is Ireland’s real forte: It exports over 90 percent of what it produces, making it the largest beef exporter in Europe and the fifth-largest in the world. And meat exports are still growing.
    Since the end of the EU’s milk quota system last year, Ireland has also been ramping up milk production, O’Toole said, and that adds to emissions.
    “It goes back to the whole focus which emerged in 2011, that Ireland would add milk volumes rather than looking at climate-friendly or climate-smart agriculture,” said James Nix, director of the nonprofit Green Budget Europe. “In essence, the policy makers went for more of the same without thinking ‘Oh, hang on, this will have climate consequences.’”
    Cows over climate

    The pressure on the country to meet its climate change targets without derailing its economic recovery has made Ireland one of the loudest voices in contentious negotiations over how to divvy up the EU’s goals for cutting greenhouse gases outside of the Emissions Trading System between 2020 and 2030, alongside coal-reliant Poland and livestock-heavy Netherlands and Denmark.


    “It is clear that economic recovery is influencing our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Stephen Treacy, a scientific officer at Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency. “We must implement appropriate measures across all of society and the economy to break the link between prosperity and pollution.”


    Ireland was in second-to-last place in meeting its 2020 target for agriculture, transport and other sectors not covered by the ETS as of 2014, according to European Commission statistics. Luxembourg was in last place, but its ranking didn’t take into account new measures to hike the cost of transport fuel. Ireland, on the other hand, is expected to increase its emissions from transport and agriculture before the end of the decade.


    The Commission plans to issue its so-called Effort-Sharing Decision this summer, which will assign national emissions-cutting targets for non-ETS sectors, alongside a proposal for bringing the EU’s land use, land use change and forestry into the climate and energy framework.
    The concern for green advocates is that Ireland and Poland are both trying to use their land use and forestry to weaken the effort-sharing burden — by trading trees, which absorb carbon dioxide, for cows and coal, which emit it.


    “Ireland wants credits from tree plantations, and so doesn’t want to improve rules that would reduce the credits available, and Poland wants to use credits from existing forests to offset coal emissions in the ETS,” said Hannah Mowat, a forest and climate campaigner at the NGO Fern. France, Germany and the U.K. oppose the idea, she added.
    The view from Dublin

    In Irish policy circles, the idea that the country is the new dirty man of Europe is exasperating.


    The government does have an ambitious forest-planting scheme — aiming for forests to cover 18 percent of the country by 2046. A well-placed source told POLITICO the ultimate aim is to achieve complete carbon-neutrality in agricultural production by having emissions soaked up by forests and grasslands. The source also pointed to October 2014 European Council conclusions that explicitly recognized afforestation as one of the few ways to offset farming emissions.


    “Agriculture has not benefitted from the offsetting value of Ireland’s afforestation,” said MEP Mairead McGuinness, from Prime Minister Enda Kenny’s Fine Gael party. “Ireland’s current level of forestry is 10 percent of land area, compared to an EU average of 30 percent, so there is scope for further increased afforestation.”


    The other sore point is that Ireland sees itself as a leader in sustainable farming and doesn’t appreciate being lectured by countries whose overall emissions are far higher. A 2011 report from the Commission’s Joint Research Center noted, for example, that the country’s per-cow emissions from milk production are the lowest in Europe, alongside Austria’s. It also points to Ireland’s rolling green pastures as a significant break on carbon emissions.


    O’Toole said Ireland is the “most benign” place to raise livestock from an emissions point of view, adding that bureaucrats are busy conducting carbon-efficiency inspections of Irish farms to try to get a clearer picture of how to improve. “The aim is to bring about change so that our emissions from agriculture can be lower. We’re extremely committed to this,” he said.


    He, as well as other sources, painted a picture of Irish agriculture as being one the country’s few unmatched strengths. There’s very little heavy industry or natural resources, but there is rain-soaked grass galore.
    “Ireland isn’t an industrialized country,” O’Toole said. “The ability to grow a plentiful supply of grass and convert this into animal product is Ireland’s single greatest natural advantage.”


    So Ireland’s real fight is to secure emissions credits from the Commission for planting new forests. Dublin argues that awarding credits for existing forest cover would just create a loophole, allowing some countries — like Poland — to go on emitting at current levels without the effort and cost of planting new trees.


    The well-placed source told POLITICO the Commission understood Dublin’s arguments and there was some hope of a breakthrough.
    But there are problems beyond other countries’ objections.


    For one, Ireland isn’t planting trees quickly enough to meet its afforestation target. For another, there is pressure on the EU to introduce stricter, internationally approved land use rules, which would tighten the availability of afforestation credits.


    “My instinct is that it’s going to be difficult to get what they’re looking for, which is a quid pro quo on afforestation for agriculture,” said Eamon Ryan, the Irish Green Party leader and former minister for communications, energy and natural resources. “There is a case for treating land use separately from ETS sectors, but I’m not so sure they’ll be able to get what they want.”


    To update your POLITICO Pro notification preferences, visit www.politico.eu/notification


    Only POLITICO Pro subscribers have access to POLITICO Pro content. If you are interested in learning more about a POLITICO Pro subscription for your organization, please contact [email protected].
    Memo to New Vision:
    You might more effectively use your time and energy worrying about cow farts in the hills of Donegal, than fracking and fires in North America.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    5,709

    Default Re: Ireland Dirty Man of Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post

    The piece below is from PoliticoPro, a subscription service as distinct from their free material.



    Memo to New Vision:
    You might more effectively use your time and energy worrying about cow farts in the hills of Donegal, than fracking and fires in North America.
    ih ih yes cow waste would not be a topic sexy enough for NV

    yesterday some guy was dissing Portuguese fish dishes

    I just want to state here that no one in Europe can cook fish as well as the Portuguese!

    So, if you don't like Portuguese fish dishes is cos ye dont like fish .. .

    Having said that ..your taste buds are more used to cow/lamb? meat (yikes) so this is an issue that will get zero air time on the island.

    (@Shaadi back @ you later )

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Rockall
    Posts
    78,847

    Default Re: Ireland Dirty Man of Europe?

    Wrong there RNY - cow poo is a hot topic in Ireland.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    946

    Default Re: Ireland Dirty Man of Europe?

    On a related issue. Our local rag reported that developers have been given permission to build houses along the River Blackwater. Building there had been stopped after the last bout of floods...which are essentially an annual occurrence now. More sensible to plant thousands of trees but hey ho....roll on the next inundation.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Meath
    Posts
    8,551

    Default Re: Ireland Dirty Man of Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Wrong there RNY - cow poo is a hot topic in Ireland.
    It is not a fresh morning without the smell of cow pat.

    The most honest country smell we have.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2,975

    Default Re: Ireland Dirty Man of Europe?

    Making Al Gore a billionaire with Carbon Credits? To Hell with him and the rest of the Global Warmist scammers.

    Regards...jmcc

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Wash DC
    Posts
    8,717

    Default Re: Ireland Dirty Man of Europe?

    Notice the difference here..........Politico links to the Indo piece about its story, but the Indo doesn't link to the Politico piece upon which it is basing 100% of its story. It is precisely for reasons such as this, that so many Europeans are so poorly informed, and have to rely on the far superior standards of US media. The Irish Times, and UK press is no better.

    RISH INDEPENDENT RESPONDS TO POLITICO AG EMISSIONS ARTICLE:Ireland’s biggest-selling newspaper carried a report referring to POLITICO’s article on the country’s agriculture emissions Wednesday. This report was interesting in itself, because farming sources quoted explicitly said how dangerous reducing emissions targets is for the Ireland’s agriculture sector. A not-so-flattering lead (initially: “U.S.-owned insider rag POLITICO ran a story calling Ireland a ‘not so green Emerald isle’ for falling behind on its carbon emission targets”) was changed after we brought to their attention that we’re German-U.S. owned. Read our Irish agriculture emissions piece again: http://politi.co/1qJ41dd, and the Irish Indepedent: http://bit.ly/25lqqjQ
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    2,988

    Default Re: Ireland Dirty Man of Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post

    The piece below is from PoliticoPro, a subscription service as distinct from their free material.






    Memo to New Vision:
    You might more effectively use your time and energy worrying about cow farts in the hills of Donegal, than fracking and fires in North America.
    I think that you have a point there, Count B!

    Also, see this recent article raising significant questions re Irish 'recycling' procedures.

    http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/c...nd-778442.html.
    "If you go far enough to either extreme of the political spectrum, Communist or fascist, you'll find hard-eyed men with guns who believe that anybody who doesn't think as they do should be incarcerated or exterminated. " - Jim Garrison, Former DA, New Orleans.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Share us
Follow Us