November 20, 2019
Irish government launches public consultation roadmap to reduce agriculture emissions
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, launched on November 18 a public consultation on the much anticipated "Ag-Climatise", a National Climate & Air Roadmap for the Agriculture Sector to 2030 and Beyond, Farming Independent reported.
The government announced earlier this year an All-of-Government Climate Action plan that contained an emissions reduction target of 10-15% for agriculture. The latest announcement details how the government proposes to make these cuts.
Among the proposed immediate changes include the development of enhanced dairy and beef breeding programmes, and the reduction of crude protein levels in swine and ruminant feed by feed producers.
According to Minister Creed the agricultural sector will play its part in the transition to a low carbon, climate-resilient economy and society of the future, while also taking advantage of the opportunities that the challenge presents.
"Irish agriculture has become one of the most carbon-efficient producers of beef and dairy in Europe and under our Origin Green banner, this is widely recognised, but we can, and need to do even better. I am confident that if farmers, industry and the Department work together, the Agri sector will play a big part in Ireland achieving its climate commitments."
The structure of the roadmap is composed of three elements: Implementing Changes Now: Examples of proposed actions include: adoption of low emission slurry spreading equipment and changes in fertiliser type; Acting in Partnership: To be successful, all stakeholders, from farm to fork, will have to contribute in a spirit of partnership, bearing in mind a the need for a just transition; Preparing for the Future: using best available science to inform policy development and to help stakeholders make strategic choices for the future.
The Minister concluded, "I would really welcome farmer views in developing this plan. We will listen to farmers and take on board their views as we finalise the roadmap over the coming months. By working together, implementing practical changes on farm, we can secure the family farm for generations to come.''