Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., has been in attendance at COP28 where he spoke at the United States Chamber of Commerce hosted event “Reducing Methane from Food and Agriculture”. Ireland is a world leader in sustainable foods systems and the Minister used the opportunity to showcase Irish agriculture as a model for other food producing countries. He also outlined how Ireland intends to meet its targets to achieve a 51% reduction in overall GHG emissions by 2030, and net-zero emissions by 2050.
The Minister participated in a panel along with Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young (Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics and USDA’s Chief Scientist). The Minister explained that methane makes up 73% of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and emphasised Ireland’s leading role in advancing technologies to mitigate these emissions.
The Minister shared Ireland’s world leading achievements in research to genetically select bovine animals that are lower emitters of methane without affecting production. He also explained how Irish investment in research has proven that up to 30% of methane from enteric fermentation can be mitigated by feed additives and Ireland Is advancing this technology for incorporation into its pasture-based system of production.
Irish investment and support for agriculture and climate research is reflected in the fact that agriculture accounts for one fifth of the total public research support in climate science in Ireland but the proportion of the annual total research budget devoted to climate science in agriculture has risen from 3% to 43% over the last 10 years.
The Minister also explained Ireland’s involvement in joint research on methane with New Zealand and Ireland’s participation in the United States and United Arab Emirates led “AIM for Climate” collaborative research initiative. Partnering on research brings together experts to tackle complex problems and devise collective approaches that can enhance the pace of advancing new technologies to mitigate Methane from Agriculture and Food.
Further information can be found on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine website.