IFA’s Environment & Rural Affairs Chairman Harold Kingston has called on Environment Minister Alan Kelly and Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to ensure that current discussions with the European Commission about future ammonia emission targets are balanced and do not place unachievable obligations on farmers.
He said, “Progress has been made in these discussions, with the Commission agreeing to remove proposals to include methane gas from the current review of the National Emissions Ceiling Directive, as this gas is already regulated in the EU’s climate and energy package”.
Mr. Kingston warned, “Mistakes have been made in the past when it comes to setting emission reduction targets. Ireland continues to face challenges in meeting binding EU 2020 greenhouse emission reduction targets. These targets were set with no regard to the impact they would have on food, fuel and energy production or international environmental standard”.
“Past mistakes must not be repeated and the current ammonia reduction discussions for Ireland must include a cost effective plan to deliver these targets, which will not impact on the future development of Ireland’s sustainable agriculture sector.”
The National Emissions Ceiling (NEC) Directive is an EU environmental directive which is designed to support improved air quality. Current proposals by the Commission are seeking to introduce further emission reductions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, non-methane volatile organic compounds and ammonia in member states for the period from 2020 to 2030. Methane emission reduction targets were also initially sought.