The Climate Challenge
Ireland has set out its commitment to reduce overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 51% by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
This meets Ireland’s commitment to the Paris Agreement to keep temperature rise to 1.5°C and is in line with EU policy, and it is supported in law by the 2021 Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act. The sectoral emissions targets set by Government in 2022 are outlined below in Table 1.
The target for “Agriculture” is a 25% reduction (5.75 Mt CO2eq). The setting of a national target for “Land Use” has been deferred to allow new scientific knowledge emerge, but is expected to be within the 37%-58% range set out in the 2021 Climate Action Plan.
Table 1: Overall targets and trajectory for sectoral emissions reduction
(Sectoral Emissions Ceilings 2022 and NCAP 2021)
|Ireland - all sectors||68 Mt CO2eq||33 Mt CO2eq (51% reduction)|
|Agriculture||23 Mt (35% of total) CO2eq||17.25 Mt CO2eq (25% reduction)|
|Land Use||4.8 Mt (7% of total) CO2eq||2 – 3 Mt CO2eq (37%-58% reduction)|
Delivering the reduction in GHG emissions required to meet the new targets for Agriculture will require a significant transformation in Ireland’s agriculture and food production system. Ensuring that Irish farmers and food producers are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable throughout the period of transformation and beyond will be critical.
Supporting farmers in this transformation of the Irish agri-food production system will require significant additional research, advisory and education resources and a whole of industry effort across the Agricultural Knowledge Innovation System (AKIS).