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farmer protest

Farmers bring tractor protest to Cork over airport expansion and climate policies

Cork Airport issued a travel advisory to passengers and commuters ahead of the protest this morning.


FARMERS ARE PROTESTING against climate policies in Cork this morning outside a meeting of local councillors.

Tractors were on the road early this morning and headed for Cork Airport to highlight “hypocrisy” of proposals by the Dublin airport authority, which also operates Cork Airport, to expand whilst farmers are being asked to reduce their emissions.

Farmers also protested later this morning outside a meeting of Cork city councillors to emphasise their dissatisfaction with the implementation of a range of public policies, including those aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the agriculture sector.

It is the latest in a series of protests by farmers in Ireland and abroad against climate action tabled by national governments and the European Union. 

Of all sectors, agriculture is Ireland’s largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. It has been given a target of reducing emissions by 25% over the coming years.

Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane trap heat inside the atmosphere, pushing global average temperatures upwards and destabilising the earth’s climate patterns.

Experts have warned that farmers would be among the first groups of people vulnerable to the impacts of climate change because of how closely their work is tied to the land and influenced by weather events.

Ireland’s climate has already become warmer and wetter in the last thirty years across all seasons compared to previous decades, according to data collected by Met Éireann.

However, some farmers say they are not content with policies that would reduce emissions but could lower their productivity. 

Farmers have also taken issue with a number of other policies impacting the sector.

Irish Farmers Association President Francie Gorman met with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Friday. Issues that were discussed included “the Nitrates Derogation; late payments; the need for immediate tillage supports; Ash dieback; the Residential Zoned land tax; VAT refunds; the cost of doing business; and work permits”, according to the IFA.

Cork Airport issued a travel advisory ahead of the protest advising passengers and commuters to allow extra time for their journeys in the area this morning.

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