This submission to an interdepartmental group in the Irish government argues that much greater emphasis needs to be placed on maintenance, stability and resilience when developing policy on the bioeconomy. It also describes some programmes and changes to the tax system that we believe could help with this.
We propose that the Irish government incorporate tree-planting and soil-building measures into the next round of water framework directive works, in order to shift the focus from Irish agriculture as a net environmental problem to Irish agriculture as a world leader in ecologically sustainable methodologies and practices.
In this proposal, Ireland would form a bilateral partnership with a Global South country in order to eliminate fossil fuel emissions, support the energy transition and work towards climate justice. It would be relatively straightforward to implement and would establish Ireland as forward-looking, global-minded and fundamentally ethical in its approach to climate stabilisation.
Instead of playing catch-up to other EU countries as is currently the case, we believe Ireland could leapfrog them and establish itself as a visionary leader by taking a global view of the climate challenge and incorporating action on climate with substantive action on inequality and poverty, significant improvements to the quality and freshness of food, and greater overall prosperity and stability in Ireland and elsewhere.
The Feasta Climate Group, in collaboration with Stop Climate Chaos, argue in this submission that the right to food needs to be at the heart of agricultural policy. Increased productivity is not a valid goal in itself. Emphasis should instead be placed on meeting nutritional needs, agro-ecology, closed-loop agriculture, gender rights and supporting small farmers.
This submission was made by Feasta on March 6 to the Irish Department of Agriculture regarding "Sustainable Food Production and Processing" and "Food for Health". It describes 10 high level goals that we believe can and should be progressed. It goes on to outline the proposed research that would further these goals, and to explain what the expected results would be and how they could be measured.