40% of CAP budget to address climate measures

40% of CAP budget to address climate measures

Some 40%of the future Common Agricultural Policy budget (2021-2027) will be directed at climate and environmental measures, which will likely include payments which promote biodiversity, water quality and carbon storage.

That’s what Agriculture, Food and Marine Minister, Michael Creed, told Kerry TD Danny Healy-Rae in a written reply to a Dáil question. The minister said soil organic carbon can play a significant role in the land use sector in mitigating greenhouse gases.

Land use, including forests and grasslands, have the potential to contribute an additional 26.8 million tonnes of increased removals or emissions reduction over the period 2021-2030. He said the Government’s Climate Action Plan specifically associates the mobilisation of these CO2 removals as part of the contribution from agriculture and land use towards Ireland’s 2030 targets.

In addition, the current afforestation programme has been reviewed to enhance participation rates, while also informing land use policy to increase the benefits for climate, the environment, as well as rural communities. He said:

Since the late 1980s, nearly €3 billion has been invested in forestry, and ongoing suitable forest management will continue to contribute 21 MtCO2eq over the period 2021 to 2030

Minister Creed said research by Teagasc and the Environment Protection Agency has highlighted that grasslands play a key role in the provision and regulation of important ecosystem services. Grassland soils have the ability to sequester atmospheric CO2.

“Better management of grassland includes activities such as increased time to reseeding, increase in legumes, less frequent use of heavy machinery and long-term pasture management plans.

Hedgerows are estimated to cover 3.9% or 660,000 km of our landscape. Reports recognise their contribution to climate adaptation as well as to carbon sequestration.

Some 40%of the future Common Agricultural Policy budget (2021-2027) will be directed at climate and environmental measures, which will likely include payments which promote biodiversity, water quality and carbon storage.

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