Agriculture, Food and the Marine | To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the extent to which his Department continues to consider international research in its efforts to control emissions and ensure adequate food supplies
To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the extent to which his Department continues to consider international research in its efforts to control emissions and ensure adequate food supplies; 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.
The Climate Action Plan sets out a range of measures the sector will need to adopt. These measures which will deliver a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions abatement of approximately 3.7-4.2MT were published in the Climate Action Plan. Clearly this still leaves a gap to target, which will need to bridged by new technologies underpinned by research and innovation.
Ireland continues to engage internationally on research and innovation. We maintain our role as co-chair of the livestock sub-group of the Global Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases. I recently committed Ireland to joining the global climate initiative, Agricultural Innovation Mission (AIM) for climate. This initiative requires global partners to increase research investment in climate smart agriculture. My Department and Teagasc also work very closely with New Zealand in the areas of methane and nitrous oxide. New Zealand shares similar challenges to us in terms of reducing GHG emissions from their pasture based livestock agri sector.
I have been consistent in my message that agriculture must contribute to the national efforts to reduce GHG emissions, while at the same time maintaining food production from our pasture based livestock production system. Research and innovation will play a key role in achieving this objective over the course of the decade.
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