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Citizens' Assembly recommends agriculture greenhouse gas tax

The Citizens’ Assembly has recommended there should be a tax on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture, among a number of other suggested measures to tackle climate change.

The Assembly had been considering the topic, ‘How the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change’. Its recommendations will now form the basis of a report for submission to the Houses of the Oireachtas.

The recommendations were reached by ballot paper voting and follow two weekends of deliberation on the energy, transport and agriculture sectors, international best practise and existing national policies and activities.

The following were among the recommendations made by the Assembly:

  • 89 per cent of Assembly members recommended that there should be a tax on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture. There should be rewards for the farmer for land management that sequesters carbon. Any resulting revenue should be reinvested to support climate friendly agricultural practices;
  • 93 per cent of the members recommended the State should introduce a standard form of mandatory measurement and reporting of food waste at every level of the food distribution and supply chain, with the objective of reducing food waste in the future;
  • 99 per cent of the members recommended that the State should review, and revise, supports for land use diversification with attention to supports for planting forests and encouraging organic farming.

Voting took place by secret ballot and the voting process and counting of the ballot papers was overseen by former Returning Office for County Dublin, John Fitzpatrick, and his team.

The Chair of the Assembly, the Honourable Ms Mary Laffoy, said: “This weekend the Citizens’ Assembly was charged with the task of offering citizen insight to Government on feasible ways of addressing the issue of climate change that would be likely to have the support of the public and, in turn, allow us to meet our existing international and European obligations. Today, the members of the Assembly have made a series of ambitious recommendations which make it clear that they believe there is a path for the State to make Ireland a leader in climate change, however it would require significant changes in current policy and activities." 

The full ballot paper, presentations and associated papers made to the Assembly are available on the Assembly website. All public sessions of the Assembly can be watched back here.

Tags: climate change greenhouse gas