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Minister emphasises the importance of food security in the climate change debate

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Mr Brendan Smith TD told EU Agriculture Ministers that he was extremely concerned at the scale of the challenge presented by climate change and the manner in which it was addressed might result in negative impacts in terms of Europe's role in global food production. The Minister was speaking at the Council of Agriculture Ministers meeting in Brussels.

The Minister said it was very important, against the background of a rapidly growing world population and increasing demands for food, to ensure that sufficient measures were taken to maintain or increase food production and to ensure global food security. "The response to emission reduction targets must not reduce the capacity of any part of the European food production system" the Minister said.

"Any reduction in food production in the EU will, of absolute necessity, be taken up elsewhere and could result in a heavier carbon foodprint and further diminishing the prospect of enhanced food security throughout the world".

The Minister said it was critical that the EU develop an overall strategy on agricultural emissions and food production. To address the concerns of food security, sustainable food production and access to sustainably produced for all, we need  robust process for dealing with agriculture, food production and climate change. 

Date Released: 13 July 2009