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Minister McEntee addresses National Agricultural Energy Efficiency Conference

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Shane McEntee, TD today addressed the National Agricultural Energy Efficiency Conference at the Lyrath Hotel, Kilkenny.

The conference was jointly organised by Teagasc, SEAI, the Farming Independent and Macra Na Feirme. In congratulating the conference organisers for hosting the first such conference, Minister McEntee said "the level of interest clearly demonstrates the heightened awareness that the agricultural community in particular has developed over recent years towards achieving greater energy efficiency at farm level and beyond".

The Minister spoke of the aim to achieve sustainable growth of the agriculture and agri-food sectors in the Food Harvest 2020 report in achieving increased efficiency, higher productivity and competitiveness in primary agriculture, forestry, fisheries and in food and drink production. Regarding the role of the agriculture, food and renewable energy sectors in contributing to the Government’s 2020 target of achieving a 20% reduction in energy demand, the Minister said "I would urge all of these sectors to grasp the opportunity that undoubtedly exists for them to take the lead in achieving reductions in energy demand at farm and entity level.  Opportunities clearly exist for the development and provision by these sectors of energy efficient solutions for rollout across the whole of the economy".

The Minister also stressed the view of Ireland and the EU that a formal United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) mechanism, such as the suggested specific work programme on agriculture, would act as a platform to highlight and scientifically address issues around the impact of climate change on agriculture and food security.

Date Released: 06 December 2012