The Minister for Agriculture has avoided answering whether his department will carry out an economic assessment on the impact of a 25% cut in emissions on the agriculture sector.

When asked by the Irish Farmers Journal if an assessment would be carried out, Charlie McConalogue refused to confirm or deny if such a study would be completed.

Instead, he replied that there is “an absolute imperative for all of us to work to meet that 51% reduction economy wide”.

“Each sector has to stretch itself to get there. I’ve worked closely with farm representatives in relation to putting together the plans to get us to 22%.

“We’re now going to have to update those plans and look at the various options that are available to actually do that.

“I think the most important thing is for us to get under way and continue the journey of actually reducing our emissions,” he said.


He added that there is “significant capacity” there for income generation for farmers from solar energy and the potential for anaerobic digestion.

He said that the science, technology and the research is evolving all the time.

“If we had been speaking a couple of years ago there would have been tools and opportunities that we know of now and didn’t then, economic opportunities as well. So this will evolve as the decade goes forward. We learn more, we don’t know it all at the moment,” he said.