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Smith highlights Agriculture Sector's "Significant contribution to reducing National Emissions"

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today reiterated the significant role the agriculture sector has played in reducing national greenhouse gas emission levels.  The Minister was speaking at the opening of a conference entitled A Climate for Change - Opportunities for Carbon Efficient Farming, organised by Teagasc.

Minister Smith said "By 2012, emissions from the agriculture sector are projected to be 8.5 per cent, or 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, less than emission levels in 1990.  This compares very favourably with Ireland's commitment under the Kyoto Protocol to maintain its greenhouse gas emissions at a level no more than 13 per cent above 1990 levels, for the Kyoto commitment period 2008 to 2012."

Speaking of the key role that agriculture and forestry and food production has to play in the complex interlinkage between climate change, energy and food security, the Minister stressed that "as we proceed to determine how Ireland should meet its future environmental commitments, the farming, forestry and food industry sectors will not be found wanting when called upon to deliver their fair share".

The Minister also pointed out the importance of the agriculture and food production sector to the Irish economy the sector "employs over 150,000 people in this country. Ireland's 700 food production facilities account for about 30 per cent of net flow of funds from the primary and manufacturing sectors. Now, more than ever, it is vitally important that we create a long-term sustainable future for this most important sector of the Irish economy".

Date Released: 24 June 2010