New environmental targets could see farming reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions by 14%
New environmental targets for farming could see Greenhouse Gas emissions reduced by more than 14pc in some farming sectors.
The figures come as an EU report states that Ireland faces missing two of its thee EU 2020 climate targets. Ireland signed up to reduce carbon emissions by 20pc from its 2005 levels, but a new report from the European Commission predicts that Ireland will be over 12pc off that target.
Today's report from Bord Bia states that under its Origin Green sustainability programme for the food and drink industry, which was launched four and a half years ago, over 137,000 carbon assessments have been completed on Irish beef and dairy farms.
According to Bord Bia, over 37,000 individual improvement targets have been established for Irish beef farmers, and another 28,000 for dairy farmers. When completed, these targets could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 7pc and 14pc respectively, it says.
Origin Green is a national sustainability plan for the entire food and drink sector and 800 farmers a week are assessed to provide information on the performance of Irish farms with regard to sustainable practices.
Since 2011, over 117,000 farm carbon assessments have taken place on over 49,000 beef farms in Ireland, which show that there remains considerable variation among farms with results ranging from 5kg to 18kg CO2equivalent/kg beef produced.
Results to date from Bord Bia show a minor eduction in the average carbon footprint from 11.59kg CO2e/kg beef in 2015 to 11.58 in 2016.
It goes on to say that if those performing lower than average moved to the average, emissions could potentially reduce by 500,000t CO2e annually.