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Climate Change Policy

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Ceisteanna (206)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

206. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the targets set for the achievement of carbon sequestration over the next five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53896/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Environment)

The Programme for Government recognises that the next ten years are critical if we are to address the climate crisis and commits to a 51% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions over the decade and to achieving a climate neutral economy no later than 2050. These commitments have since been placed on a statutory footing through the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021.

The Climate Act provides for carbon budgets and sectoral ceilings to be put in place, which will determine how each sector of the economy will contribute to the achievement of the carbon budgets. These budgets take account of carbon emissions from the land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector. This sector includes activities associated with forestry, croplands, grasslands, wetlands, settlements, and other lands. Ireland is currently a net-emitter of greenhouse gases from the LULUCF sector to the order of 4.8 MtCO2-eq per year.

LULUCF has the potential to be managed as a net-sink for greenhouse gases and the Government recognises this potential for carbon sequestration. The Climate Action Plan 2021, which I will shortly publish, shall set out a range of policies and measures in respect of enhancing our carbon sequestration from land activities.

Furthermore, the Programme for Government commitment for a national land use review is under way and it will consider options for how we might improve the management our land to meet our climate, biodiversity, water rand socioeconomic goals. The first phase, the ‘Evidential Review’ is currently under preparation, overseen by a Steering Group co-chaired by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

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