The farm measures in the Government’s Climate Action Plan, first launched in November 2021, will be updated this autumn, according to Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan. He said such updates come after agreement of the emissions reduction ceiling for the farm sector of 25% by 2030.

The minister said this Climate Action Plan will “continue playing a central role in emissions reduction” and that it will “set out plans for reducing nitrogen” so agriculture “meets our nitrogen fertiliser reduction targets.”

Minister Ryan said the Department of Agriculture will “have to deliver” on these measures and “if it does not, it will be in breach of the [climate] legislation”. The Green Party leader was addressing the Oireachtas Committee on Environment and Climate Action.

‘Solid footing’

The minister said negotiations on agriculture’s ceiling of 25% were a “beneficial process” which gave him confidence that the farm sector is “on a solid footing”.

He said he is looking to the energy sector to “close some of the gap” created by agriculture not getting a higher emissions target.

“As anaerobic digestion is ramped up, the grass will go to that process rather than necessarily to feeding cattle. As it will also be a way of managing the waste slurry from our farming, it is connected,” he said.

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