‘The next CAP will prioritise climate action’ – Minister Creed

The next Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) will be fully aligned with the need to prioritise climate action. There will be a step up in environmental and climate delivery in the next CAP and the development of Ireland’s CAP strategic plan will ensure the delivery of this target.

A consultation process on the next CAP has already started and negotiations on CAP policy will intensify over the coming months.

The Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC) Annual Review 2019 highlights the key role of the agriculture, forestry and land-use sector in reducing emissions between now and 2030.

This is according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, who was speaking during Dáil proceedings last week.

He was asked by Fianna Fáil’s deputy Eugene Murphy for the reason why the CCAC called for a 53% reduction in the national suckler herd with no corresponding obligations being placed on other farming sectors.

Tackling climate breakdown

The minister, meanwhile, pointed to the all-of-Government Climate Action Plan and how it plans to tackle climate breakdown.

This identifies a series of actions for the agriculture, forestry and land-use sector.

He continued: “These actions ensure a fair contribution from agriculture and land use to our transition to a low carbon economy and society.

“This reflects our three pillar policy approach to achieving carbon neutrality without comprising sustainable food production.

“This plan sets an ambitious target for the sector to reduce its emissions to between 17.5 and 19 Mt CO2eq by achieving between 16.5 and 18.5 Mt CO2eq over the period 2021-2030.”

Challenges ahead

Minister Creed went on to say that while the targets were in place – they would not be without their “challenges”.

These targets are not without their challenges.

He added: “The Teagasc MACC report illustrates a suite of actions that provide opportunity for emissions reductions and a pathway towards achieving our commitments.

“To reach the target of 19Mt CO2eq in 2030 requires us to manage the emissions profile from the sector between now and then through mobilisation of as many of these actions as possible, and as early as possible, with high levels of take-up across our 139,000 farms.

“The CCAC report highlights the importance of early adoption by farmers of the measures outlined in the Climate Action Plan.

Also Read: How will the Climate Action Plan affect farmers and rural Ireland?

“All mechanisms, such as the CAP reform, market incentive and regulation will also be investigated in full by all the relevant stakeholders, including industry, to mobilise the necessary actions as swiftly as possible.”