Agriculture, Food and the Marine | To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the extent to which he continues to encourage compliance to meet emission reduction targets, while at the same time ensuring that the agri-food industry is not damaged given the prospect of world food shortages
To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the extent to which he continues to encourage compliance to meet emission reduction targets, while at the same time ensuring that the agri-food industry is not damaged given the prospect of world food shortages; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
As the Deputy may be aware, the agriculture sector has been set a challenging and ambitious greenhouse gas reduction target under the Climate Action Plan 2021. The sector must reduce emissions by between 22-30%, to bring emissions from a baseline of 23MT CO2 eq into a range of 16 and 18MT CO2 eq by 2030. A more precise emissions reduction target within this range is likely to emerge over the short term as a sectoral emissions ceiling is set for the sector.
My position has been consistent on this matter, agriculture will indeed need to step up its climate ambitions, like all sectors, in order to ensure that the economy wide reduction of a 51% reduction in emissions by 2030 is achieved.
However, agriculture is not unique in this regard as a climate change is a challenge for everyone in society. The sector must find ways to reduce emissions while not compromising our ability to produce feed and food.
The Climate Action plan sets out the sort of measures the sector will need to take in order to transition to a more long term sustainable platform with co-benefits for water, air quality and biodiversity, while at all times, maintaining productivity in the sector.
I recently established a Food Vision 2030 dairy group, and they are about to submit their initial report, which will identify ways to stabilize and reduce emissions from the dairy sector. A similar group for beef and sheep will soon be established.
The advisory network in Ireland will play a key role in driving change at farm level. I am confident that by taking appropriate action on every farm in the country, we can maintain our grass based livestock production system, and continue to export our world class food products all over the globe.
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