The All-of Government Climate Action Plan to tackle climate breakdown sets out a target for emissions from the sector in 2030 of between 17.5 and 19 Mt CO2 eq. by achieving between 16.5 and 18.5 Mt CO2 eq. cumulative abatement over the period 2021 to 2030 for the agriculture sector. In addition, the sector will also deliver an additional 26.8 Mt CO2 eq. through better land use management such as afforestation and improved management of peaty grasslands.
The plan identifies 34 actions for the sector that will contribute to our transition to a low carbon economy and society. These include abatement measures, carbon sequestration measures and displacement of fossil fuels and reflect our three-pillar policy approach to achieving carbon neutrality without comprising sustainable food production.
The actions in this plan are informed by the recent Teagasc Marginal Cost Abatement Curve report (MACC) - An Analysis of Abatement Potential of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Irish Agriculture 2021-2030 as an identifiable suite of actions for delivery. These actions include both efficiency measures such as the Dairy EBI programme and technical measures such as changes in fertiliser type or low emissions slurry spreading as well as a series of forestry and bioeceonomy measures. Achieving our 2030 emissions reduction target will require early adoption and high levels of take-up of all measures across all our 139,000 farms.
My department has recently published a document entitled ‘Ag-Climatise’ – A Draft National Climate and Air Roadmap for the Agriculture Sector to 2030 and beyond for public consultation. This main aim of this consultation document is to translate our overall sectoral ambitions into more detailed actions and targets for delivery over the coming years.
The roadmap will also take account of the outcomes of other recent public consultations on the National Air Pollution Control Programme, the Code of Good Practice to Reduce Ammonia Emissions, the 2019 Nitrates Derogation Review and the Sectoral Adaptation Plan for Agriculture Forestry and Seafood.