It was found that if passed unchanged the bill would have “devastating consequences” including job losses.
Recent work by the management consulting firm KPMG has found that between 40,000 and 45,000 jobs will be lost across the agricultural and agri-food sectors and their supply chains (of the 113,000 currently employed in the sector).
Leaders of the agricultural and food industries say they support climate change legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
However, if adopted without change, the legislation will not follow the recommendations of expert scientists who are members of the International Panel on Climate Change and the UK Climate Change Committee (UKCCC).
They warn that it will “harm local food production to such an extent that it will require dependence on food imports, exacerbating global emissions (known as carbon leakage) and increasing prices for consumers.”
The employers and businesses behind this warning are represented by umbrella bodies, the Northern Ireland Dairy Council; Northern Ireland Food and Beverage Association (NIFDA); The Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association (NIGTA), the Northern Ireland Meat Exporters Association (NIMEA), the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) and the Ulster Farmers Union (UFU).
Speaking on behalf of the alliance, Conall Donnelly, CEO of NIMEA, said: “To be very clear, our collective members support climate change legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“We want to play our part.
“We are already investing and implementing carbon reduction technologies throughout our supply chain and will continue to do so.
“Because of our advantage of natural herbs, we have a world-class reputation in the field of sustainable food production.
“Our high-quality beef, lamb and dairy products are grown on small family farms and are the envy of many countries around the world.
“We believe that Northern Ireland has the potential to become a bright light in the field of sustainable food production. We want to work with politicians to make it right for the environment and the local economy.
“This means having realistic and scientifically sound climate change goals that apply to Northern Ireland so that we can continue to be part of tackling climate change.”
David BrownThe UFU vice-president added: “If it is passed without further amendments to mitigate the unfair impact on the agri-food sector, this law will not follow the recommendations of expert scientists from the UK’s International Climate Change and Climate Change Expert Group.
“It could unjustifiably destroy tens of thousands of jobs, as well as jeopardize consumers’ access to affordable and quality food.
“Otherwise, food may have to be imported from other places, which will simply increase global emissions.”
He continued: “This bill could also harm rural cities and towns that depend on our sector as livelihoods.
“But it will affect us all as consumers if we are no longer able to access local fresh produce that is produced to high standards of environmental protection and animal welfare.
“We ask politicians to work with us.
“We want to fight climate change in a way that helps protect the environment and preserve the unique economic and social role that agriculture and food production play on this island,” Mr Brown said.
https://www.farminglife.com/country-and-farming/industry-leaders-form-alliance-to-call-for-amendments-to-climate-change-bill-3578581 Industry leaders form “alliance” to call for climate change bill