Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Questions (938)

Frank Feighan

Question:

938. Deputy Frankie Feighan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if hedgerows on agricultural land should be included and counted towards the total reduction targets in climate emissions in view of the fact that they are natural carbon collectors (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6469/20]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

Greenhouse gas emissions and removals associated with land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) are reported in Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions inventory prepared by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and submitted annually to the EU and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. LULUCF includes activities associated with forestry, croplands, grasslands, wetlands, settlements and other lands. Hedgerows, as landscape features within the cropland and grassland categories, can form part of the emission and removal estimates for these land use categories. It is important to note that emissions and removals of greenhouse gases associated with land based activities are reported in a different category to those associated with agricultural activity, in line with international reporting guidelines.  

While such emissions are not currently accounted for in relation to the calculation of compliance with Ireland's emissions targets in the period to 2020, from 2021 onwards these emissions will be integrated into the EU framework for compliance with national emissions targets. It is, therefore, essential that Ireland has robust policies in place to manage emissions and enhance removals from LULUCF.