‘CO2 reductions cannot be borne by agriculture alone’

The European Parliament has voted in favour of a 40% reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from passenger cars and vans by 2030.

MEP Mairead McGuinness has welcomed the result saying: “This vote benefits the agriculture sector as the significant CO2 reductions necessary to meet our climate targets cannot be borne by agriculture alone and ambitious reductions in transport are crucial.

There is already a strong focus to reduce emissions coming from the agriculture sector and other sectors will have to make efforts to reduce their climate impact as well.

The First Vice-President of the European Parliament stressed that CO2 emissions coming from the transport and agriculture sectors are counted together under effort sharing regulation – along with emissions from the buildings and waste sectors.

However, transport and agriculture together account for 75% of the country’s emissions.

The EU Parliament has set an interim target for a 20% emissions cut by 2025. Calls have also been made for 20% of vehicles to be electric and hydrogen powered by 2025 – increasing to 35% by 2030.

Speaking from Strasbourg, McGuinness said that increased ambition to cut CO2 emissions for passenger cars is “very important”.

The Midlands-North West MEP added: “While the commission proposal went far, the European Parliament’s position goes further in the fight against climate change.

CO2 is the most common greenhouse gas and emissions from the transport sector account for 23% of Ireland’s total emissions.

“Ireland has very onerous targets under the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the transport sector must do more to ensure we can meet these objectives.

“This proposal will encourage the car industry to innovate, develop alternatives and improve fuel efficiency,” she concluded.