Ireland 'completely' off course to achieve climate change targets
Ireland is completely off course to achieve its 2020 and 2030 climate change targets, according to the Climate Change Advisory Council’s Annual Review 2018.
Following on from last year’s Annual Review, Ireland is now in an even worse position. Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions increased again in 2016, with the projections of emissions to 2035 showing that we are completely off course in addressing the challenge of climate change, said Chair of the Council, Professor John FitzGerald.
“Instead of achieving the required 1m tonne per annum reduction in carbon dioxide emissions consistent with the National Policy Position, Ireland is currently increasing emissions at a rate of 2m tonnes per year. We need immediate and urgent action to put us back onto a pathway to achieve transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and sustainable economy and society.”
In the absence of a definition of neutrality within the agriculture and land use sector, it is not possible to provide a detailed assessment of progress towards the national policy objective. Nevertheless, given the observed increase in agriculture emissions and ongoing carbon losses from land use, the sector is not on a trajectory to achieve the national transition objective, the review states.
Agriculture Climate Change
Annual agriculture emissions increased by 2.7pc in 2016, and increased by 4.5pc relative to 2014, the review says and emissions are projected to increase further.
This has largely been driven by the industry taking advantage of market opportunities arising from the removal of quotas on dairy production, in line with Food Wise 2025.
All land uses should be included in mitigation options, it says and policies and practices to maintain and enhance carbon stocks are needed as part of the overall achievement of an approach to neutrality.
"The role of forest land is clear. National policy on forestry is largely consistent with enhancing the national carbon stocks as well as sustainable resource management. In the period 2006 to 2015, the average annual rate of increase in forest was 5,820 hectares per year. In 2016, forest area increased by 6,290 hectares.