Alderman McCready said, “I have found all of the farmers I have spoken to were happy to have the opportunity to voice their concerns and discuss solutions. I also really appreciated the opportunity to talk to them. I support their efforts so far by trying to make their farms part of the solution, not the problem.
“They told me that if the private member’s bill proposed by Clare Bailey of the Green Party was allowed without amendment, it would have serious consequences for their industry. They told me that implementing the goal of net zero by 2045 would result in a reduction in the number of cattle and sheep by 86% and that the number of dairy cows would be reduced to the levels seen for the last times in 1947.
“The food industry in Northern Ireland supports around 113,000 jobs and feeds around 10 million people and is a key part of the economy of Northern Ireland. Livestock cuts of this magnitude could decimate the agri-food sector and rural communities in Northern Ireland, adding to the lingering mental health problems due to single and isolated farmers, and also adding to the universal credit bill, due to the increase in unemployment that this would entail.
“I have made it clear that the Ulster Unionist Party supports the proposal put forward by the UK Independent Committee on Climate Change for a reduction in carbon emissions of at least 82% by 2050. This is about a more realistic goal.
“The farmers I spoke to showed their willingness to embrace new technologies, helping the industry move towards net zero, but they felt they did not have enough time to develop and develop them. deploy. A farmer told me that he is a farmer, but also a passionate environmentalist, and that they are often an easy target to blame for climate change. Farmers in Northern Ireland are among the most carbon-efficient producers in the world, ”said Alderman McCready.
“Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK without climate change legislation and it would be best if Clare Bailey and DAERA Minister Edwin Poots worked together to merge their two bills. Time is running out before the end of the Assembly’s current term of office and it is crucial that Northern Ireland is not further left behind by not putting legislation in place before the next Assembly elections.
“I would ask farmers in the Foyle and surrounding area to share their concerns with me in the coming weeks. I would also like to meet young farmers. My door is always open and I look forward to having more discussions.