I hope I manage to deal with them all. Taking Deputy Neville's and Senator Mulherin's together, Ireland has set an obligation to reduce our emissions by 2030. While we are more efficient than many other countries, we are less efficient than some. The council's supplementary working paper shows that, although Ireland is top of the class in some cases, it is not in others.
I will turn to the issue of carbon efficiency and what is coming down the tracks, particularly in terms of what Senator Mulherin mentioned. In July, I was babysitting my grandchildren in Boston. I took my 11 year old grandson and my seven year old granddaughter to the Museum of Science, which is one of the best in the world. There were two 15-minute lectures on that afternoon. My grandson stated that he wanted to go to one on synthetic biology and another on climate change. The former was well delivered and my grandson got all the issues. I did too, and I learned a certain amount. It covered how DNA had been transferred from beef to vegetable matter, specifically soya, and how beef was now being produced from that matter. The Vegan Times panned it, saying it was awful because it tasted just like beef.
The next day, my grandson said he wanted a falafel sandwich. He knew a place near the children's hospital.
I took him there and he got his falafel sandwich but they were selling burgers with artificial beef. I did not try one as I did not fancy it and nor did he but two weeks ago, Barclays said that, within the next ten years, 10% of the world's beef would be met from artificial beef, which we will not be able to tell from real beef. The beef sector will be under huge pressure and if 10% of the world's supply is taken out by a cheaper alternative, the worldwide market will be much more difficult. Farmers in six states of the United States have got together to lobby for Burger King to have to label artificial beef as such, because they are very concerned. There will be knock-on effects because of the relationship between milk and beef, which Deputy Dooley identified.
Senator Mulherin asked about imports. Two thirds of everything on our supermarket shelves are made in the United Kingdom or imported through the United Kingdom. We produce dramatically more beef than we need to feed ourselves. The agriculture sector has to look at these issues independently of issues around climate change. Climate change will not be the saviour but it could be the reason compensation is paid to farmers to transition out of the sector. Senator Lombard asked about offsetting with anaerobic digestion. Teagasc has assumed all these things happen with a stable dairy herd, which is necessary to meet the target. It would not allow us to increase the dairy herd and it is taken for granted that we will implement all these measures to reduce costs and emissions if we are to meet our target. I do not see it as a get-out-of-jail card.
It was suggested that farmers be required to have a proportion of their land in forestry. As a non-farmer, I am reluctant to force farmers to do anything and it would be better to try to persuade farmers that it is in their best interests to do it. The CAP can be framed in different ways and there may be mandatory elements but we have not got involved in that.
Deputy Corcoran Kennedy asked about peat. Co-firing is not an answer because if the biomass comes from Ireland, it can be much more effectively used for heating in rural areas. If it is imported, it is a double no. In any event, a lot of peat would be consumed anyway and the combined emissions would still be awful. I take the point that bringing forward the closure to today is very disruptive. Bord na Móna was planning for a longer term. I was down on bogs in Offaly and Kildare to look at what is involved and it was brought home to me that we cannot just abandon bogs - we have to manage them. It will involve much lower employment and somebody will have to pay for it because Bord na Móna will make no money if it is not selling the peat.
I was asked about alternatives under just transition. There is €20 million which has been put aside in the budget for developing a retrofitting capacity in the midlands. One option could be for some of the workers to be trained to provide this service so that we would keep the activity and keep employment in the midlands. It is an innovative idea for using some of the €90 million in revenue. Bord na Móna showed me a number of things it is doing to prepare for alternative employment but these are not ready yet. From an environmental point of view, it was important to bring forward the closure of the bogs but how it is handled is important as a demonstration that climate change will not impose massive costs on a particular community.