Climate & Environment

Mind the gap: Why the next climate plan has to double down on actions

As various carbon-emitting sectors wrangle over what their final emissions reduction should be, of greater concern is the fact that even our most ambitious strategies won’t see us achieve our overall target by 2030

David Kerr, a dairy farmer in Co Laois: dairying gives highest return per hectare so it is vital for small farmers. Picture: Jeff Harvey

In 2015, the EU lifted its regime of milk quotas, allowing farmers to expand their dairy herds without limit for the first time in 30 years.

Speaking to the National Dairy Conference at the time, Simon Coveney, then Minister for Agriculture, said farmers had been operating in a “straitjacket” up to that point, and accurately projected an extra 300,000 milking cows across the country within five years, with substantial benefits for farmer incomes.

Acknowledging the ...