Farmers face targets not quotas to reduce emissions as Ireland faces €5.5bn in fines - Bruton
Farmers will face targets not quotas to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions, according to Richard Bruton.
The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment is due to publish his action plan around climate change by the end of March and he assured farmers at the IFA AGM that targets for the agriculture sector will be a route to reduce carbon emissions from agriculture that are in line with maintaining a prosperous farming sector.
His March plan will set out actions, target dates and milestones for the three main sectors emitting carbon - agriculture, industry and transport to reduce carbon emissions by 30pc between 2021 and 2030.
"I'm trying to solve all our problems by de carbonising our sectors and there will be sectoral targets and I hope they are in line with growing output from agriculture.
"There has to be a carbon target in agriculture, industry and transport. It's only if you have a target you can underpin it with policies."
Routes that impose the least burden and give the most opportunity, he said, would be key to his plan, but said there were no specific targets or determined yet.
"I don't have preconceived ideas of what is the best policy instrument, but we have to have those instruments in place. But we have to link policy instruments to targets in each sector."
He said that his policies may be less aggressive in agriculture, as the opportunities for change are more limited than in other areas.