The use of revenue generated from the Carbon Tax to fund a new agri-environment scheme will begin when the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) starts in 2023, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue has clarified.

Speaking to journalists at a press conference yesterday (Wednesday, October 13) in the wake of Budget 2022 (which was delivered on Tuesday) Minister McConalogue reiterated the commitment in the Programme for Government that €1.5 billion will be allocated to agriculture out of the Carbon Tax revenue.

In answer to a question from Agriland, the minister said: “In relation to the Carbon Tax, the Programme for Government is very clear, the government commitment is very clear, in ensuring that, between now and 2030, as the Carbon Tax is accrued and raised year-on-year, there will be €1.5 billion by 2030 allocated specifically to agriculture.

“[It will] specifically support and enhance the new environmental scheme which will replace GLAS [Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme] as part of the next CAP, which starts from January 2023.

“So that commitment is there and as well we’re currently working on finalising the five-year CAP Strategic Plan [CSP] programme… I was keen to ensure that that is very strongly funded,” he said.

Minister McConalogue explained that the Carbon Tax funding for agriculture as been deferred until 2023 when there is a new agri-environment scheme established (under CAP) for the funding to be put towards.

“In relation to profiling that CAP five-year programme for 2023 to 2027, I engaged with the Department of Public Expenditure…and therefore the carbon aspect [of funding] for 2022; we’re deferring that so it’ll be part of that five-year programme,” he explained.

“But it will be, overall, €1.5 billion. That commitment is very clear. It’s simply a ‘profiling matter’ to coincide with the five-year CAP Strategic Plan.”

Minister McConalogue added that all existing schemes from last year have been rolled-over and will continue at current funding levels.