The Seanad has passed two amendments to the Climate Action Bill on Friday which will see carbon which has been sequestered on farm accounted for in the carbon reduction targets set for agriculture.

The amendments, put forward by Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard, will now return to the Dáil for final approval.

“This amendment is a game-changer for agriculture. It changes the outlook for farmers. The changes to the bill today give everyone in the farming community confidence that carbon sequestration efforts will be accounted for,” Lombard told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“Agriculture is the only sector which can sequester carbon and farmers need to be rewarded for it. While the amendments have yet to come before the Dáil for final approval, in principle they are well over the line.”

No leakage

Welcoming the amendments, IFA president Tim Cullinan said they will give recognition to on-farm carbon removals.

“IFA has been lobbying intensively for three amendments to the bill. Despite strong engagement, we were disappointed that the minister accepted no amendments in the Dáil,” Cullinan said.

“We then took our campaign to the Seanad. In fairness to the Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil senators, amendments were put down and followed up, which have now been accepted by the Government.

“There are still serious issues with the bill, particularly around the distinct characteristics of biogenic methane, along with the need to avoid any international carbon leakage arising from the implementation of the bill.”