In this article, Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher shares his thoughts on the sectoral emissions ceiling for agriculture.
Now that the sectoral carbon emissions targets have been announced, it is time for the government to announce tangible supports for sectors.
In the agricultural sector, it is clear that farmers will need support, and financial incentives, to help meet the targets.
Sectoral emissions ceiling
Take the issue of anaerobic digestion. Last year, the government announced a pilot scheme. At the time, I questioned the necessity for a pilot scheme.
This is not new technology. It has been in use across Europe for decades. It is time for action and serious investment and cooperation with farm organisations and agricultural cooperatives.
Not only will it potentially deal with up to 14% of our methane emissions, but it will also produce high-quality organic fertiliser and provide an income for farmers in the production of feedstock.
Furthermore, the biogas produced from these facilities can be used to heat our homes and power our vehicles. It is a win-win for everyone.
We also need to see real action on solar power. There are still way too many barriers to homeowners and farmers selling excess electricity into the grid.
A huge proportion of solar-generated electricity is lost due to the inability of small producers to sell it into the national grid.
It is simply no longer acceptable to be literally throwing away carbon-free electricity every day.
Today, I have communicated with the Minister for Agriculture my concerns on this issue and have requested a detailed briefing at the forthcoming Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party Think In in September on these issues.
Fianna Fáil must be the party of real, tangible solutions to the climate crisis.
We can, and we must meet the challenges ahead of us and bring our communities with us.
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