Climate Action Plan (CAP)

Climate Action Plan (CAP)

The release of the Climate Action Plan (CAP) by the Irish government yesterday has set ambitious target for the agricultural sector of reducing GHG emission by 22% - 30% by the year 2030.

It is no secret that the targeted emission cuts from the farm sector are by a long way the most politically sensitive element of the new action plan. There was a growing concern amongst farmers that one of the mechanisms to achieve this target would be a reduction in the national herd, however Taoiseach Michael Martin has reassured farmers that no such reduction will take place. The Taoiseach insists that "Agriculture will play its' part while maintaining food production."

It's very positive to see that organic farming is being used as a solution to the ever increasing GHG emissions from agriculture. The CAP has outlined that by 2030, the area of the country under organic farming is to be increased to 350,000ha (it now stands at only 74,000ha). As well as this, the amount of chemical nitrogen used in the country will be massively reduced over the period, which will cause a significant shift in the type of fertiliser used by farmers around the country. Incase you are unaware, nitrogen fertilisers are already prohibited under organic farming principles.

Overall, we believe that the CAP strikes a good balance between maintaining our level of food production and also putting in place the necessary mechanisms to achieve our emissions reduction target in a sustainable manner.

Although it may have been a contentious issue for the past number of weeks, it is positive to finally see a clear roadmap given to the agricultural sector in how they can play their part in making a sustainable future for all. It was needed now more than ever.