Written answers

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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400. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the extent to which he remains satisfied that carbon emission reduction targets are being met without damage to agrifood production; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18010/21]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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In December 2020, I published the AgClimatise roadmap. This roadmap sets out a series of ambitious actions for the next decade and beyond which will be transformative for Irish agriculture. The roadmap will enable the sector to reduce agricultural GHG emissions by 10-15%, while maintaining, and indeed, hopefully increasing agricultural output through efficiency gains over the years ahead.

One of the major objectives of AgClimatise is an overall reduction in chemical nitrogen fertiliser use to 325,000 tonnes by 2030, a key objective of the EU Farm-to-Fork Strategy. The roadmap places significant emphasis on measures that will maintain grass productivity with reduced levels of chemical fertiliser use. These measures include an increased use of lime on farms, the use of clover and other multispecies swards and a greater uptake of low emission slurry spreading technology. The Teagasc Signpost farms initiative, along with the many public and private advisors, will play a key role in up skilling farmers over the years ahead.

By implementing the Ag Climatise roadmap over the course of the next decade, I am very confident that we can transition the sector to a more long term sustainable platform, with co-benefits for water, air quality and biodiversity, while at all times, maintaining productivity in the sector.

Ultimately, I want to ensure that, as a priority, we protect farm family incomes while also protecting the environment.


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