Emissions reduction targets for agriculture are expected to be agreed in the coming weeks – and are unlikely to be considered for how methane from agriculture is calculated.
The inister for agriculture Charlie McConaughey is due to meet with Environment Minister Eamon Ryan this week to discuss how much of the cuts in agriculture will face.
The sector’s reduction target has been set between 22 and 30 percent of 2018 levels, but an exact figure has yet to be set.
The Director General of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Laura Burke, said recently that agriculture should clarify how it will receive cuts.
“We are particularly concerned when we look at the agriculture sector… because a reduction in methane of up to 30 percent is required. And the question is how do we go about it,” she said.
The challenge facing the country’s livestock sector in meeting the government’s climate action goals was outlined by the EPA at the first meeting of the Food Vision Beef and Sheep group, which took place last week.
The group, founded by Minister McConaughey, is exploring ways to reduce emissions associated with the beef sector and is following a similar dairy group’s founding earlier this year.
farming independent Understands that agricultural organizations were told at the meeting that the full implementation of the already mentioned emission reduction measures could lead to the agriculture sector seeking minimum emission reductions
However, the group was warned that the action cannot be delayed and progress should be made over the next two to three years, according to a source in the meeting.
In the meeting, some agricultural organizations highlighted that the number of cows being milked has already come down significantly since 2018. “The swarm was cut on everyone’s mind at the meeting,” said the source. “There was a mood among some that the dairy expansion sector has gone too far.
“Beef farmers cannot be held responsible for expanding the dairy sector when it comes to herd reduction.”
Pressure is mounting on the Joint Oieachtas Agricultural Committee to organize an urgent meeting on behalf of the government to tackle methane emissions from livestock ahead of Dáil’s summer vacation.
Oxford University professor Miles Allen has agreed to address the committee amid the ongoing scientific and legal debate over the impact of bovine-sourced methane on global warming.
However, it is understood that no such meeting will now take place until autumn.
Committee chairman Jackie Cahill said the “only reason” the methane meeting hasn’t happened yet is because of the National Food Ombudsman Bill.
“The agriculture minister wants that to go through a pre-legislative inquiry,” Mr. Cahill said. “It’s a very detailed, complicated bill and it’s going to take four or five sittings to make progress. It’ll take up all of our time between now and the holiday. The methane meeting will take precedence when it comes back in autumn. Our stakeholders They are saying that the calculation is not being done correctly in respect of ruminant animals.
“We want to give them a platform to bring their case forward; If they make a valid case, it will certainly have a very significant impact on the ceilings already in force.”
A spokesman for the Environment Department stressed that the carbon budget is in line with current reporting practices.
“Our carbon budgets are in line with the European Union and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Reporting Practices,” he said.