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New recommendations for Ireland to combat climate change

11th Apr 2019

Source: Irish Times, 29th March 2019, full link here

The Irish Climate Action Committee report on addressing climate change has been released and includes 40 recommendations on how Ireland will respond to accelerating impacts of global warming. It sets a climate policy framework for the next 15 years, elevates climate on a par with economic and budgetary policy and re-casts Ireland's emissions reductions targets in line with advice, leading to the country decarbonising by mid century.

The cross party committee recommends scaling up adoption of renewable energy, the retrofitting of hundreds of thousands of homes, bringing down agricultural emissions and facilitating greater community involvement in moving to a low - carbon existence. 

It is recommending new climate legislation be adopted to set a net zero emissions target for 2050; a 70 percent target for renewables on the electricity grid by 2030, as well as mandating five yearly "carbon budgets" from 2020 onwards, which in effect would set a limit on national emissions.

What are the recommendations for agriculture?

The report accepts a need for "a more diversified, resilient, sustianable and equitable model for Irish agriculture." Moreover, it acknowledges, "Ireland cannot meet its international emissions targets withouth tackling agricutlural sector emissions."

The committee warns of over-reliance on beef and dairy production and endorses 28 actions proposed by Teagasc but highlights the absence of an implementation plan. 

It calls on the State to promote the potential to store carbon in the landscape through native broadleaf woodlands, maintaining hedgerows and rewetting bogs.