All sectors will have to make an effort to meet emission targets – Martin

Emissions ceilings will create “challenges” for transport, energy and agriculture, and “all sectors will have to strain” to cope with climate change, Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin said.

He made the comments to Taoiseach as the coalition’s three leaders – Mr. Martin, Tanaist Leo Varadkar and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan – failed to agree Tuesday night on what level of greenhouse gas reductions should be introduced for key sectors of the economy. .

The Climate Change Advisory Council has recommended that the agricultural sector reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 22-30% as part of Ireland’s goal of reducing total emissions by 51% by 2030.

Some TD deputies have said the emission ceiling should be set at the lower end of this range, and climate scientists and some opposition parties are calling for a reduction in the upper end.

Speaking Wednesday morning on his way to the last Cabinet meeting before the summer break, Mr Martin said it was not easy to reach an agreement, but the government was “fully committed to solving this problem.”

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Taoiseach Michael Martin says the government is ‘fully committed’ to reach an Emissions Reduction Agreement (PA)

He added: “What the difficulties reflect in reaching an agreement, they reflect the importance of the problems. I think it’s important that we get a resolution, but that we do it in a way that facilitates future implementation and real momentum on climate change.”

Mr Martin added that part of the challenge with agriculture is recognizing the greater role it will play in the energy sector in the future and recognizing the importance of supplying the food production system.

Mr. Ryan, the Minister for Transport and the Environment, acknowledged that the development of the mechanism of the agreement was “challenging”.

He added: “I hope that today we can resolve differences and agree on an approach.

“This is very important for every part of Irish society. We need to make sure the changes we make are for the better: good for farmers, good for transportation, good for energy, good for employment, good for protecting us from the cost of living.

“It took a little time, but I hope that today we can agree.”

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Environment Minister Eamon Ryan hopes agreement can be reached Wednesday (Brian Lawless/PA)

Ireland has made a legal commitment to halve carbon emissions by 2030 and zero net emissions by 2050.

An EPA report released last week said Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 4.7% in 2021 compared to 2020 and are now 1.1% above 2019 cap levels.

In 2021, emissions from the energy industry increased by 17.6%, which he said was due to a tripling of the use of coal and oil to generate electricity, while emissions from the agricultural sector increased by 3% last year, driven by a 5% increase. .2%. an increase in the use of fertilizers and an increase in the number of dairy cows by 2.8%.

Mr Martin said reaching emission ceilings would be “really very important”.

He added: “From transport to energy to agriculture. To be fair, I have to say that the goals that have been set are very, very difficult and will continue to be difficult.

“We are looking for ways, as in all sectors, including agriculture, we can expand these goals and ensure meaningful contributions from all sides.

“What we are trying to do here is to avoid the worst effects of climate change. We are not going to avoid climate change now, we see it in the summer heat, but what we can do for future generations and our children’s children, we can limit these consequences.”