Funding provided to Bord Bia for the promotion of Irish food and drink has been deemed as potentially harmful for the climate in a Government report.
The Review of Fossil Fuel Subsidies and other Potentially Climate Harmful Supports was carried out by staff at the Department of Expenditure.
In its review of spending at the Department of Agriculture, it found that the €55.3m provided to Bord Bia this year is “likely to result in the production of greenhouse gas emissions”.
The spending evaluators found that while not all marketing and promotion activity by Bord Bia are linked to climate harmful activities, a significant portion of its funding promotes the consumption of beef, dairy and other meat products.
While adding that the Origin Green programme may combat some of the climate impact, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform claimed beef and dairy farming is “emissions intensive”.
The spending analysis is one of the measures committed to under the Climate Action Plan.
The Government report also found Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) farmer payments of €250m to be “potentially” harmful to the climate.
The analysts found that “ANC payments supplement [farm] income for an emissions intensive activity in areas where such activity would be less likely to occur to the same extent in the absence of the support, given the inherent difficulties associated with farming the land in question”.
However, the report noted that such ANC payments “provides employment and reduces poverty for farmers in designated disadvantaged areas”.
The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform also found spending which may be of harm to the climate in several other sectors, including €99.7m in support to the tourism sector and €37m for the aviation sector.
Over €87m in Government grants to combat “fuel poverty” were also targeted due to its “negative greenhouse gas emissions impact”.
The report suggests that Government departments should negate any potentially harmful climate impacts from the spending it identified.