Environment, Climate and Communications | Carbon emissions reduction impact on agricultural and manufacturing sectors
To ask the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications if he will ensure that measures to address carbon emissions do not damage the productive agricultural and manufacturing sectors here; if the best practice in other jurisdictions to meet such requirements can be followed; 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 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. To address emissions in manufacturing the Department has engaged with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment on the sectoral emissions ceiling for industry. This included further reviews of measures set by Climate Action Plan 2021 to ensure that they can deliver the emissions reductions required by the sectoral emissions ceilings and meet other requirements such as technical feasibility and cost effectiveness in terms of their wider economic impacts. We are also working with our State Agencies such as Enterprise Ireland and Local Enterprise Offices to provide advisory and financial supports for low-carbon technologies.
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