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Policy Enabling Environment

The long term policy vision for the agriculture, forest and land use sectors is based on an approach to carbon neutrality in the agriculture and land-use sector, including forestry, which does not compromise capacity for sustainable food production.

National Climate Policy Position

Adaptation

Mitigation

Origin Green

Food Wise 2025

Policy & Legislation

 

Adaptation

There is scientific consensus that climate change is happening and that it is largely caused by human activity. Over the past 250 years the burning of fossil fuels, land use change and agriculture has contributed to altered global average temperatures.

In Ireland, temperatures have increased by about 0.8°C since 1900. The number of annual frost days has decreased whilst the number of warm days has increased. Observations of the timing of bud-burst for a number of tree species indicate that the beginning of the growing season is now occurring more than a week earlier than in the 1970s, leading to an extension of the growing season.

One way of alleviating some of the trends outlined above is through adaptation. This is the process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects. Adaptation seeks to moderate or avoid harm or exploit beneficial opportunities. Adaptation is an essential element in addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change.

Sectoral Adaptation Planning Document

National Adaptation Framework

 

Mitigation

A National Mitigation Plan (NMP) has been prepared as required by the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act.  The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) published the Plan in July 2017. In terms of mitigation, the Act provides the statutory basis for the national objective of low carbon transition by 2050.

For the agriculture sector, this includes an approach to carbon neutrality in the agriculture and land use sector, including forestry, which does not compromise capacity for sustainable food protection.

National Mitigation Plan

 

Origin Green

Ireland is a world leader in areas such as sustainable auditing and carbon foot-printing under the Origin Green programme.  Origin Green is the national sustainability programme for the food and drink industry uniting government, the private sector and food producers. Origin Green is a strategic priority in Food Wise 2025. 

Origin Green

 

Food Wise 2025

Food Wise 2025, sets out a cohesive, strategic plan for the sustainable development of agri-food sector over the next decade. The strategy was informed by a detailed environmental impact analysis, and driven by a strong focus on sustainability.

Food Wise 2025

 

Policy & Legislation

Common Agricultural Policy

Protection of Ireland’s natural environment has been a central element of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for over 20 years. The focus on environmental protection has been strengthened under the current CAP 2014-2020 and further enhancements are expected as the CAP under goes review.

Payments to farmers under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are dependent on the achievement and maintenance of baseline standards on environmental and public health, animal and plant health, and animal welfare – otherwise known as “cross compliance”.

Pillar I provides for a “greening” payment for farmers following a specified set of mandatory farm practices that yield additional environmental benefits.

Pillar II – The Rural Development Programme consists of a suite of measures designed to enhance the competitiveness of the agri-food sector, achieve more sustainable management of natural resources and ensure more balanced development of rural areas, with an enhanced focus on delivering positive environmental outcomes including for water and climate change.

Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

Basic Payment Scheme/Greening

Guide to Greening

Rural Development Programme 2014-2020

The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015

The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 provides a statutory basis for Government policy on climate change and provides for development of a National Mitigation Plan and sectoral adaptation plans.

Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015