The Government’s decision on an emissions reduction target for the land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector has been pushed back by at least 18 months.

Setting the sectoral emissions ceiling for the LULUCF sector was delayed to coincide with the completion of a “land use review” committed to by Government, according to the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue.

The minister also said that delaying a decision would allow for a “refinement” received by Government in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) counting of the emissions coming from the land to be included in plans for the sector.

Measures put forward by policymakers to reduce emissions from land will likely include the rewetting of drained bogs, capturing more carbon in tillage soils and more trees on mineral soils.

“This decision has not been taken lightly, but reflects the complexity and uncertainty associated with the quantification of emissions arising from this biological system,” Minister McConalogue said on delaying a decision on the LULUCF target.