Clear funding and policy mechanisms are needed for the agricultural sector to achieve emissions targets, according to Dairy Industry Ireland (DII).

Director of DII, Conor Mulvihill has been commenting on the publication of the Climate Action Plan 2023, which was released by the Irish Government today (December 21, 2022).

The plan outlined a number of measures for the agricultural sector, in the following areas:

  • Reducing nitrogen emissions;
  • Reducing methane emissions;
  • Increasing carbon capture;
  • Enhancing biodiversity;
  • Providing diversification options for livestock farmers;
  • Enhancing adaptation;
  • Supporting the development of new research.

According to DII, the Irish agricultural sector has been set a significant challenge to meet its climate emissions reduction target of 25% by 2030, this is on top of a 35% reduction target for processors.

Climate Action Plan

Mulvihill stated: “The publication of this plan brings us into a new phase of advanced climate action while we continue sustaining the economic opportunity for Ireland, and in rural Ireland particularly.

“The former Taoiseach [Micheál Martin] at the recent Food Vison conference underlined his view that Irish agriculture was the only sector of the economy engaging fully with the climate challenge.

“The industry and its family farm suppliers have been driving programmes for some time. It has further ambitious programmes set out for the next decade and wishes to be integral to Ireland’s climate and economic journey,” Mulvihill added.

According to DII the publication of the long-awaited Climate Action Plan shows the challenges that Irish society, as well as Irish agriculture, will face in meeting its targets.


Mulvihill underlined that the government now needs to outline the funding and policies that will be place to support the agricultural sector.

“To achieve this, clear funding and policy mechanisms to help farmers and the processing industry meet these targets must be set out urgently by government.

“The Irish dairy industry will work with the arms of the state, on a whole-of-government / whole-of-sector basis to deliver on Ireland’s Climate Action Plan.”

Mulvihill has called on the government to give appropriate supports to enable the industry to positively achieve these targets and protect the social and economic sustainability of rural Ireland.

“For our part in industry, we are investing in technology and process improvement to meet changing consumer preferences and environmental obligations.”

Mulvihill said that this includes water quality, biodiversity, and energy, but added that clarity and fairness on targets, funding and carbon accounting treatments are a critical start to this journey.