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THE Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD.

THE Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD.

THE Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD.

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Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, T.D., together with Ministers of State, Senator Pippa Hackett and Martin Heydon, T.D., has welcomed the launch of the Ireland’s Climate Action Plan 2021. The Plan outlines a pathway to reducing Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions by 51 per cent in 2030.

Referring to the Plan, Minister McConalogue said: “This is the most ambitious Climate Action Plan ever produced and it places farmers at the very centre.

The targets for agriculture will help make Irish farms more carbon efficient and build a more resilient agri-food sector. Farmers know the land better than anyone and are best placed to meet our climate ambitions. This plan sets ambitious climate mitigation targets for farming, but also recognises the special position of the sector in producing high quality food, and supporting a balanced regional economy.

Central to all of this is ensuring we have a strong and vibrant sector and that farm incomes are protected. That is why I have provided almost €10 billion in support for the new CAP Strategic Plan in the period from 2023 - 2027. We are facing into a period of transformation in our great sector and with the right support our farmers can lead this change.”

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This Plan also sets a separate target for the land-use sector, acknowledging the role that our forests and land can play in carbon removals but also recognising that land can be a source of emissions.

Minister of State Pippa Hackett said: “Carbon sequestration is one of a range of important services being provided by sustainably managed forests. This Climate Action Plan recognises the importance of forests and timber, and the positive impact they make in sequestering and storing carbon. Through Project Woodland we are engaging with citizens to build a new vision for the forestry sector that will help to shape a National Forestry Strategy. This will be finalised in the first quarter of 2022. We are also reviewing the regulatory framework with a view to streamlining our licencing system and making it more efficient. We are bringing forward legislation to make it easier for farmers to undertake small scale planting of native trees without the need for a licence. That will bring huge biodiversity benefits and we will, also of course, continue to provide strong financial support for the sector. I would encourage all farmers to seriously consider forestry as part of their plans on their farms in the years ahead.

In addition, our soils are a potentially important carbon pool in the Irish landscape. Reducing emissions through reduced management intensity of our peat soils has the potential to significantly reduce GHG emissions from these soils and is a means to positively contributing to our climate change ambition

The Programme for Government also commits to ambitious targets for increasing the area farmed organically, and we are backing that up with €256 million in financial support in the new CAP Strategic Plan to help make that happen.”


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