Welcome for Government move to axe 2020 targets
Published 09/11/2011 | 06:00
Green Party proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture by up to 30pc by 2020 have been scrapped in a dramatic U-turn by the Government.
But diesel prices look set to increase as the Minister for Finance hinted at further increases in carbon taxes during his budgetary outlook last week.
The tax has added almost 5c/l to diesel since it was introduced last year.
However, farm organisations were applauding the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan, after he announced last week that he would be reviewing the climate change targets and policy drafted by the Greens just before they resigned from Government in January.
Mr Hogan highlighted the need for special concessions for the farming sector and a change in the way emissions from the sector, which account for 40pc of the total, are calculated.
The minister stressed that Ireland remains on course to meet its legally binding commitments in the Kyoto Protocol up until 2012. However, EPA projections from this latest review show that Ireland cannot meet its 2020 mitigation target on the basis of existing policies and measures.
One of the main reasons for this is the 50pc increase in output from the agri-sector targeted in the Food Harvest 2020 report.
However, Mr Hogan has abandoned previous Green Party policy to set separate emissions targets for each sector.