2017 Correspondence between Teagasc and An Taisce regarding agriculture and greenhouse gas emissions

11th September 2019

In this document release An Taisce is pleased to make public an exchange of letters between Teagasc and An Taisce concerning agriculture and greenhouse gas emissions, dating from 2017.

On 12 May 2017, An Taisce issued a press release expressing strong concern about a seriously misleading Irish Farmers Journal article on climate change and agriculture and the need for "the relevant State agencies to respond in defence of the mainstream scientific consensus and its implications for Irish agricultural policy and practice." Also on 12 May, Ian Lumley, An Taisce sent an email to Teagasc to express these concerns.

In response, An Taisce received this letter of 24 May 2017 signed by Professor Gerry Boyle, Director, Teagasc. The main text of this letter repeats the text of a Teagasc press release of 23 May 2017.

In an 8-page letter of 3 July 2017, An Taisce replied to Professor Boyle, posing a number of substantive scientific questions. This was on the basis that the An Taisce climate change committee was "concerned that some of the climate action policy advice Teagasc is giving, in this letter/media release and elsewhere, regarding the potential mitigation in the agriculture sector, is notably insufficient to inform policy scientifically. It thereby potentially risks misleading readers."

An Taisce has no record of having received a formal response from Teagasc to this letter. More recently (Aug 2019) An Taisce has publicly re-iterated its concerns, in an article published in agriland.ie entitled Are Teagasc’s industry-friendly climate projections credible?. This is an edited version of a longer article which is available, with full hypertext references, on the An Taisce website.

An Taisce remains open to, and would very much welcome, a substantive, considered and constructive engagement with Teagasc on these important issues.