Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney has confirmed that he hopes to open the new Green Low Carbon Agri-environmental Scheme (GLAS) before the end of this year.

However, he noted that the Scheme is currently with the European Commission for approval, as part of the Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020.

Speaking in the Dail this week he said: ” Once such approval is granted, my Department will move to open the Scheme for applications.I would hope to be able to do so around the end of the year, but this is entirely dependent on approval being secured in time from the EU. I will make final decisions in this regard when EU approval is received.”

The Minister announced details of the new GLAS on January 14, 2014, as part of a suite of proposed measures under the new Rural Development Programme.

It is hoped that the scheme will provide significant funding to farmers who undertake environmental actions in line with national and EU environmental objectives. It will contribute to the overall public good and will build on the success of previous agri-environment schemes.