Farmers will have an opportunity to share their views on the carbon emission reduction targets set for the agricultural sector through a public consultation.
Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan is seeking input from the public on Ireland’s proposed carbon budget programme, to inform his recommendation on carbon budgets for wider Government approval.
The consultation was launched by Minister Ryan on Wednesday.
The Government’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) set a target of 22-30% emissions reduction for the agricultural sector by 2030.
Farmers are encouraged to provide observations and comments on the Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC) carbon budget letter shared to Minister Ryan and/or the associated CCAC Carbon Budget technical report published on 25 October 2021.
The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) 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).
The CCAC has proposed a programme of three successive five-year carbon budgets to Minister Ryan to achieve these targets.
The Government’s CAP was developed to include measures across each sector to reach these CCAC targets.
The proposed budgets specify a cap on the total amount of greenhouse gases that may be emitted in the State during each five-year period.
The emissions caps are measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent and include all greenhouse gases.
The first carbon budget programme comprises carbon budgets for the following periods: 2021-2025; 2026-2030 and 2031-2035.
The average annual reduction proposed over the first five years is 4.8%, with an 8.3% average for the second period and 3.5% for the final period between 2031 and 2035.
Minister Ryan, in considering the CCAC budgets proposed, must consult with other relevant ministers and with the public.
Following consultation, the Minister may amend the proposed carbon budget if appropriate, before presenting the budgets to the Government.
Both the CCAC letter and report, which farmers are invited to submit their views on, are available here.
The consultation will remain open until the close of business on 8 February 2022.