THE Food Harvest 2020 strategy and the removal of milk quotas will contribute to a major increase in the output of greenhouse gasses from agriculture, according to a report released this past week by the Environmental Protection Agency.Figures on the projections for greenhouse gas emissions for the period 2011 to 2020 show that Ireland can comply with its Kyoto obligations (2008 - 2012) with regard to greenhouse gas emissions. However, it is predicted that the country will breach its annual obligations under the EU 2020 target from 2017 onwards, in the best-case scenario. Total emissions are projected to be 4.1 to 7.8 million tonnes of CO2 above the EU 2020 target and emissions from agriculture are projected to increase by 7% by 2020 (on 2010 levels) - which shows the projected impact of Food Harvest 2020 and removal of EU milk quota. The figures give a picture of Ireland's ability to meet EU and international targets with respect to greenhouse gas emissions. The projections update the previous set of national emission projections, which were published in April 2011 by the EPA. Two scenarios are developed - one based on policies and measures already in existence or being implemented, and the other on existing measures plus all planned policies and measures that are currently known. Commenting on the figures EPA Director General Laura Burke said: "The projections show a reduction in Ireland's distance to target under the Kyoto Protocol and the EU 2020 targets. This reflects a combination of the effects of the economic recession as well as assumptions on the full implementation of relevant government policies. Failure to deliver on the measures outlined in government policies will result in higher emissions than predicted." Greenhouse gas emissions projections have been produced by the EPA for both the Kyoto period, and for the period up to 2020. The projections presented under the Kyoto Protocol indicate that Ireland can comply with its Kyoto obligations for the 2008 - 2012 without any further purchase of credits. The projections show a total gap for the Kyoto Protocol period of between 4.1 and 5.1 million tonnes of CO2. This compares to 6.3 to 8.1 million tonnes of CO2 in the April 2011 projections. The reduction is primarily attributable to a reduction in transport emissions over the 2008 - 2012 period. A second, and different, set of legally binding targets applies under the EU Commission's 'Energy and Climate Package'. Under this package, Ireland is required to deliver a 20% reduction in non-ets greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 (relative to 2005 levels) and keep emissions below annual limits over the period 2013 - 2020. These non-ets emissions come from agriculture, transport, residential and waste activities, and exclude main industrial activities which are covered under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. Projections indicate that Ireland will breach its annual limit by 2017, in the best case scenario, and exceed its EU 2020 target by between 4.1 and 7.8 million tonnes of CO2 in 2020. The projections also indicate that Ireland will exceed its obligations over the period 2013 - 2020 by between 2.0 and 21.0 million tonnes of CO2. Transport and agriculture are projected to account for 75% of total non-ets emissions by 2020. This illustrates the important role that both transport and agriculture will have to play in developing options for reducing emissions in Ireland and for meeting our 2020 EU targets.