JOHN MULDOWNEY DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND THE MARINE MAY 2015 Need for a Mitigation Plan for Agriculture, Land use and Food production
Presentation Overview Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015 Agriculture Sector and the Challenge Abatement potential from Agriculture Policy vision Submissions received
Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015 to specify policy measures and sectoral mitigation measures. Today’s seminar feeds into this process, using the discussion document as a starting point. National Low Carbon Transition and Mitigation Plans (or National Mitigation Plan) to specify national strategy for application of adaptation measures in different sectors. National Climate Change Adaptation Framework to specify the policy measures required to enable the sectors to adapt to the effects of climate change. Sectoral Adaptation Plan to provide advice and recommendations to Ministers and Government in the preparation of the above. Membership includes EPA, Teagasc, SEAI, ESRI. National Expert Advisory Council on Climate Change
Irish Agriculture and Land use Agricultural Land – 4.2m ha Grassland: 3.8m ha (90%) – mainly permanent pasture Crops: 0.42m ha (10%) Forestry – 0.75m ha Livestock 6.7m Cattle 5.1m sheep 1.5m pigs Agri-food in the economy 7.7% GVA 7.9% employment (including 140,000 family farms) 11% of exports
2012 emissions share (EPA, Dec 2014) IE total GHG emissions were 58.5 MtCO2e Agriculture accounted for 18.7MtCO2e (or 31.9%) of Total emissions Agriculture is treated as part of the NETS (non-emissions trading sector) In 2012, agriculture accounted for c.44.9% of NETS emissions
Measures CAP Pillar I SMRs and GAEC Greening Crop diversification Ecological focus area Maintaining permanent pasture CAP Pillar II GLAS (GLAS+) BDGP Knowledge transfer Farm investments schemes Organic farming scheme Others Origin Green Farm advisory Horticulture sector Research (SHARP)
Carbon benefits of selected GLAS actions ActionTargetEst. Sequestration t carbon/year Potential tonnes/year New hedgerow1.4 million metres0.11400 Cover crops90,000ha0.1614,400 Min till30,000ha0.13,000 Aertsens, Nocker & Gobin 2013, Valuing the C sequestration potential for European Agriculture
Policy framework must do three things: Promote sustainable intensification of food production to reduce the carbon intensity of food production and to contribute to both food security and greenhouse gas mitigation objectives; Encourage sustainable land management and forest product uses that contribute to climate change mitigation and retain and enhance soil and forest carbon stocks; Seek to move as far along the road to carbon neutrality as is possible in cost-effective terms, while not compromising our capacity for sustainable food production.
Summary of Submissions 16 respondents to the GHG Mitigation Discussion Document. Some general comments about overall thrust of document and some more specific concerns about metrics used, etc.
Most frequently cited issues: Food Harvest 2020 targets are not compatible with GHG reduction. (8) Need to increase afforestation targets/rates. (7) Ireland has legally binding reduction targets: need to focus on overall reduction in GHG. (6) Need more training and knowledge transfer to increase carbon awareness among farmers and agri industry. (6)
Most frequently cited issues: Need incentives to encourage behavioural change, afforestation, etc. (6) Must have acknowledgement of carbon sink potential of forests, grassland, soil, orchards, aquaculture and bioenergy and have these count towards CC targets. (6) Ambition to increase beef & dairy production is being conflated with food security. (4) Polluter pays principle should apply to agri emissions. (4)