Ireland must slash emissions by 2030
Ireland will have to cut its emissions by a third by 2030, according to new targets to curb greenhouse gases.
Ireland should have higher targets, given that its GDP per capita is the second-highest in the EU, but the figure was adjusted down given the high cost of reducing emissions from agriculture.
Instead, Ireland's targets are the 12th highest in the EU, lower than those for the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands and several others. The cuts are based on each country's emissions level in 2005.
The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) president Joe Healy described the 30pc greenhouse gas emission reduction target as challenging but more balanced than previous targets set by the commission.
He said agriculture could also support other sectors through the greater use of indigenous bio-energy fuels and renewable fuels such as miscanthus for heating family homes.
Ireland's EU commissioner, Phil Hogan, was instrumental in making the case for the special treatment of agriculture, sources said.
A spokesperson for the Department of the Environment said that the proposals were "complex".
The proposals would "require careful study and analysis to determine the exact ask of Ireland towards 2030 carbon emission reductions".