Environment, Climate and Communications | Carbon emission reduction plan impact on food production
To ask the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the extent to which progress is being made towards emission reduction in line with targets and ensuring that food production which will eventually lead to food shortage is avoided; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2021 commits Ireland to a legally binding target of a climate neutral economy no later than 2050 and a reduction in emissions of 51% by 2030 compared to 2018 levels.
Following the process set out in the Act, a carbon budget programme proposed by the Climate Change Advisory Council was adopted by the Oireachtas on 6 April 2022. On 28 July, the Government approved Sectoral Emission Ceilings for both the first and second carbon budget periods, (i.e. 2021-2025 and 2026-2030), with the exception of the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector, which will be determined later.
There is target for a 25% emissions reduction for our agriculture sector by 2030. The Climate Action Plan 2021 has outlined how emission reductions can be achieved in this sector in the coming years, which involves offering farmers the means to reduce carbon emissions at farm level by becoming more carbon efficient, while also diversifying toward the production of energy and less carbon intensive practices such as organic farming. These measures, and the extent to which progress is being made, will be reflected in the next Climate Action Plan, which is due to be published by the end of 2022.
In the meantime, my Department and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine continue to collaborate on reducing our carbon emissions, while also ensuring the security and sustainability of our food production. This is a key opportunity for Ireland to become a world leader in long-term sustainable food production. I remain confident that our family farms will fully exploit the opportunities of this transition without compromising on sustainable food production.
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