Council Report No.162 – Just Transition in Agriculture and Land Use
- 11 July 2023
- Topics: Environment
- Types: Press Releases
‘From Challenges to Solutions: Groundbreaking NESC Report Sets out a Roadmap for a Just Transition in Agriculture’
- As part of its 50th-year work programme, the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) has finished a new report, Just Transition in Agriculture and Land Use (Council Report No.162)
- This report argues that the agriculture and land use sector can increasingly be a part of the solution to addressing urgent climate change and biodiversity loss.
- NESC recommends accelerating action towards a just transition in agriculture and land use, based on taking an opportunities led approach, recognising and equitably sharing the costs of transition, socially inclusive processes of engaging farmers and other stakeholders and mechanisms for effectively governing the transition.
The advisory body to the Taoiseach, the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) has brought together farming, environmental, community and voluntary, employer and trade union groups among others to agree on recommendations towards a just transition to a more sustainable agriculture and land use sector.
As part of its 50th-year work programme, NESC has finished a new report, Just Transition in Agriculture and Land Use (Council Report No.162). in which the Council argues that by taking a just transition approach – one that is fair and inclusive – the agriculture and land use sector can increasingly be part of the solution to address climate change and biodiversity loss. The report outlines how the agriculture and land use sector can achieve climate action targets in a way that is socially equitable, economically viable and environmentally resilient.
Niamh Garvey, lead author of the report said:
“Four areas of accelerated action are needed to deliver a fair and effective transition, each with a set of recommendations from NESC. These point to firstly, coordinating and governing the transition so it can deliver real change in a balanced, inclusive and just way. Secondly, having socially inclusive participation is critical to ensure a fair process of transition; thirdly, action is needed to ensure that the transition can be opportunities-led; and fourthly that a fair and sustainable distribution of the effort to bring about transition is needed to ensure non-one is left behind.”
In order to accelerate action to achieve a just transition in these four areas the report outlines twenty recommendations including scaling up and better aligning farm advisory services with environmental objectives; increasing financial resources for payments to reward farmers for the ecosystem services they provide; developing a strategy on effort sharing; the establishment of the proposed Just Transition Commission as soon as possible; the establishment of a Just Transition in Agriculture and Land Use Fund; and a deep and wide process of engagement with stakeholders to build a greater sense of shared direction for transition in the agriculture and land use system.
Speaking on the completion of the report, Dr Larry O’Connell, Director of NESC, said:
“A just transition, focused on a transition within, not out of agriculture can support the sector to be part of the solution to the climate and biodiversity crisis, whilst also supporting rural communities and farmer livelihoods. Working with the Council and a wide range of stakeholders including farming, environmental, community and voluntary, employer and trade union representatives has led to a groundbreaking report that reflects a shared understanding of a complex set of challenges and the solutions needed to address them. We identify now as a key moment of opportunity, where opinions are shifting and a way forward could be within reach to achieve a fair transition in agriculture and land use that tackles emissions while supporting economic and social wellbeing.”
The report can be read in full HERE.
NESC is celebrating 50 years of providing advice to the Taoiseach and Government on strategic policy issues relating to sustainable economic, social, and environment development in Ireland. To mark our 50th Anniversary, NESC will be hosting a full-day, in-person conference in the Printworks, Dublin Castle, on 23rd November 2023. Click here for more information.
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