Green Party statement on sectoral emissions ceilings
Today marks an important day in our collective efforts to deliver a greener, fairer Ireland. The Government has signed off on precise sectoral ceilings which will set us on a path to halving our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, ensuring that Ireland will do its part to prevent climate breakdown.
We have agreed that by 2030 transport emissions will be reduced by 50%, electricity emissions by 75%, industrial emissions by 35%, and emissions in the built environment by 45%.
After weeks of tough negotiations, we have also agreed that agricultural emissions will be cut by 25% on the understanding that farmers will also deliver further significant emissions savings in other sectors, especially in energy and land use. We secured agreement with our coalition partners that concrete, ambitious measures would be taken immediately to advance that cause.
Firstly, with respect to energy, we will massively increase the generation of renewable energy through ‘anaerobic digestion for nature’ to 5.7 TWh. Slurry, green waste (the contents of your brown bin) and grass will be converted to biomethane, reducing our use of fossil gas by up to 15%.
We are also more than doubling our target for solar power to 5,500 MW and will achieve this by incentivising farmers to install solar panels on their land.
These technologies – which are widespread throughout Europe – will not just reduce our use of fossil fuels but will provide farmers with alternative income streams, and bring down agricultural emissions.
Government has also agreed to increase our ambition in offshore wind energy, moving from 5,000 MW to 7,000 MW, with the additional 2,000 MW earmarked for the supply of green hydrogen.
These are important interventions to secure our energy independence as part of the broader European effort to cut our reliance on Russian fossil fuels. They will also protect nature and deliver a significant improvement to the quality of our rivers, lakes and marine environment.
Secondly, with respect to land use, it is clear under the law that more will need to be done to reduce our emissions by 2030, through measures such as planting trees, restoring wetlands, and storing more carbon in the soil. Within 18 months, the Government’s land use review will be completed, and this will inform the precise detail of further measures. This approach is also in keeping with both the Green Party’s 2020 election manifesto and the Programme for Government which committed to pursuing the Danish model, in which you learn by doing and consistently adjust your approach as new research and technology come on stream.
We secured agreement that we will take immediate measures in the budget in September to further support farmers to implement more sustainable business models. Farming needs to operate within planetary boundaries, and will have a crucial role in restoring healthy ecosystems.
The last few weeks have highlighted how important the role of the Green Party is in Government, and that no other party can be relied on to deliver climate action on the scale that is needed.
The next few months will not be easy. We will need to focus on developing further solutions, not just for the climate and biodiversity crises, but for the rising cost of living, the accommodation of war refugees, and the pressures on our housing system. We are confident that with your support, we can continue to deliver the best outcomes possible for the Irish public and our strained environment.
Eamon Ryan TD
Senator Pippa Hackett
"The new enhanced rates are reflective of my commitment to ensure that our Programme for Government target of 7.5% of farmland to be under organic production by the end of the CAP cycle of 2027, is achieved." - Minister Pippa Hackett