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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Ministers expect to see emissions reduction targets published this month

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said he expects legally binding targets for emissions reductions to be signed before the end of this month.

The environment minister said all three parties to the government supported the Paris climate agreement and predicted that they would reach an agreement to cut emissions in the agriculture sector.

Ireland is committed to halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and to net zero emissions by 2050.

Asked when the regional targets will be published, Mr Ryan said at the RTE This Week event: “Hopefully before the end of the month, that’s what we’re aiming to do.

“It’s important that we do.

“It sets regional targets for each sector, transportation, energy, commercial buildings, public buildings, agriculture.

“This is a real challenge because the scale of change is beyond comparison.

“It will only work and we will deliver it quickly if it is a change for the better.

“I have a lot of discussions with the Department of Agriculture, Minister of Agriculture about how we can do this and also increase the income of Irish farmers.”

Mr Ryan said: “I think transportation is going to be the most important.

“This will require major commitments to a change at the local level where we switch to more public transport, more active travel, where we reduce the amount of transportation as well as the changing fuel.

“Each sector has its own challenges. No one area can be left out.”

The Climate Change Advisory Council has recommended a 22% to 30% carbon reduction from the agriculture sector.

Mr Ryan was asked if he believed he could persuade his coalition partners to take a 30% cut.

He added: “I am confident that we will obtain consent.”

Mr Ryan said some of the measures envisaged for agriculture would include reducing the number of livestock.

He added: “Some measures will increase income in Irish farming, but will also reduce the number of animals.

“You don’t just look at it on the numbers, you have to look at it on the income side as well.

“Most of our produce is sold around the world. We get a premium because in people’s minds they think of it as a beautiful green island.

“We have to do it not only for climate reasons but also to restore water quality, restore biodiversity, so we have every reason to make this change.

“There is a common understanding. We will reach a final agreement on this area.

“All three sides of the government agreed to play Ireland’s role in fulfilling the Paris climate agreement.

“We need it, we just heard that what we’ve been talking about for decades is happening now.”

World Nation News Desk
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