Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue is happy with the emissions target
Donegal TD and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue says the 25% reduction in agricultural emissions will be a way of offering certainty to farm families and their businesses over the next decade
The Government has today agreed ceilings for emissions from each sector of the economy that delivers a pathway towards a 51% reduction by 2030. The ceiling for the agriculture sector will require a cut of 25% in its emissions by 2030, compared to 2018 levels.
Minister McConalogue TD said the Government has agreed to a pathway to a 51% cut in economy-wide emissions by 2030.
"The emissions ceiling for agriculture has been set at a level requiring a 25% reduction by 2030. This falls within the target range assigned to the sector under the Climate Action Plan 2021.
"I am pleased to have reached this conclusion as a way of offering certainty to our farm families and their businesses over the next decade."
He pointed out that the Programme for Government and the Climate Act committed them to strong climate action.
"The world is facing a climate crisis, so such action is absolutely essential. It also recognises the special economic and social role of agriculture, and the importance of sustainable food production.
"I am satisfied that the agreement we have arrived at today strikes an appropriate balance in this regard.”
The minister added: “This target reflects a very challenging but achievable ambition for the sector. The protection and enhancement of our sustainable food production system, while ensuring that agriculture plays its part in climate change mitigation, has been a priority for this Government.
"I am confident that farmers will embrace this challenge and, as minister, I will stand full square behind our farmers on this journey to support them at every step.”
Minister McConalogue stressed the need for clear guidance to farmers on the implications of this decision.
“My priority now is to work with stakeholders on supporting and delivering these targets. Our Ag-Climatise roadmap updated as soon as possible, which will incorporate new recommendations from the Food Vision Dairy and Beed committees.
"The sector needs a clear roadmap going forward and my ambition is to progress this process this autumn.”
He added: “I have already configured our supports, such as the CAP strategic plan and support in areas such as for Low Emissions equipment and for on-farm energy production towards achieving these targets. This will continue and farmers will be supported in their ambition.”
Regarding the decision to defer the inclusion of LULUCF in the sectoral emissions ceiling process for 18 months to coincide with the completion of a Land Use Review (committed to in the PfG), the Minister said this decision has not been taken lightly, but reflects the complexity and uncertainty associated with the quantification of emissions arising from this biological system.
"The EPA, in its recent 2022 National Inventory submission, included a refinement with respect to the emissions coming from the land.
“I have invested heavily through the National Soil Carbon Observatory and the Soil Sampling scheme in better knowledge of what is happening across our soils.
"This decision is in line with the provisions of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021 in order to better understand what is happening with regard to our soils and our forest estate, especially as our land use emissions and sequestration changes over time,” he said.
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