The agricultural sector may face a higher emissions reduction target than the 25% figure that the government agreed yesterday (Thursday, July 28th, 2022).
That is what Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, signalled during his appearance on Today with Claire on RTÉ Radio 1 earlier this morning (Friday).
Presenter, Philip Boucher-Hayes, pressed the minister and asked him if “farmers, who thought that 25% was a fixed line in the sand, can expect now to look forward to this being re-opened next year and the asked being upped”.
In response, the minister said: “Every year, we will continue to look at what is happening, and the Climate Action Plan is revised as the way it is structured in the law.”
The minister added that Ireland must go to net-zero, and that will take three decades, in this opinion.
He told listeners that even the targets for 2030 are “not the fixed line in the sand”.
“That is on the way to a more significant change. So come what may, every sector is going to be part of that final net-zero final outcome.”
“The real question is how can we do it as a just-transition, retain public support and do it in a way that is good for the economy and protects nature at the same time as well.”
Change farming and land use
During the interview, the minister said that “it takes time to change farming, land use, to plant a forest and to change a farm. It is not easy”.
“It will take us time to bring in a whole new generation of young people, which we want to go into farming, as well as those within it at the moment.”
He said that “we want” to create a system where we have a whole new generation of people who are the “frontline defenders of nature” as well as producers of “high-quality” food.
“This is doable, and as we do it, we learn that maybe we can do it quicker and better to go to that higher target,” he concluded.
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