Ireland: 200,000 cows to be slaughtered?

In a bid to reduce emissions and meet Ireland's climate goals almost 200,000 cows could be culled over the next three years. An internal proposal by the Department of Agriculture in Dublin foresees compensation for dairy farmers, but the latter are nonetheless worried about their future. Commentators discuss other approaches to cutting emissions.

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taz, die tageszeitung (DE) /

Leave the cows alone

The Irish government should stop filling up the Emerald Isle with data centres for the time being, recommends Ralf Sotschek, Ireland correspondent for the taz:

“There are already more than 75 of these huge centres, 8 are under construction and 30 more are planned. Nowhere else in the world is there a greater concentration than in the greater Dublin area. What does Ireland get out of this? The multinationals hardly pay any taxes but they will produce an additional 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 by the end of the decade. ... The government will miss its climate targets by a wide margin, and with full awareness of what it is doing. But at least it should be honest enough to declare that economic expansion takes priority and that it doesn't care about climate protection. Then it could leave the dairy cows in peace.”

The Irish Times (IE) /

Don't sacrifice the data centres

Targeting the IT industry rather than agriculture is the wrong approach, warns columnist John McManus in The Irish Times:

“We have a lot of data centres. Significantly more than most countries relative to our size; probably too many. But this can be seen as a sign of economic success and a display of economic competence by the Government. ... But before we grab our torches and pitchforks and march on the local data centre, it's worth remembering they are part of what passes for an industrial base in Ireland. ... We don't need fewer data centres. We need more electricity.”