The government is nearing finalization of an agreement on tough new CO2 emissions targets for a range of sectors, including agribusiness.
Several government sources involved in the talks said they believe the coalition parties can reach an agreement as early as Thursday afternoon.
Climate Secretary and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan is expected to make an announcement tonight on the first of its kind climate targets.
The main sticking point remains the target to be set for the agricultural sector, which is expected to be in the range of a 24-26% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030.
The top target for the sector was a 30 percent reduction in emissions, but there was strong opposition to the proposal from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.
Agriculture Secretary Charlie McConalogue has urged the target for farmers to be kept as low as possible.
Talks have intensified over the past 24 hours on how to ensure the government’s target of reducing overall carbon emissions by 51 percent by 2030 can be met.
And it is now expected that an agreement can be reached in the agricultural sector, supported by all three coalition parties.
A source said nothing has been officially signed but the government is “moving into a space where a deal can be struck today”.
While the target for agribusiness has proven to be the most controversial, there has also been significant debate about the limits that should be set for other sectors such as transport, energy and industry.
The main concern of the participants in the discussion is to introduce targets that can realistically be achieved by the sectors concerned.
A number of incentives are also being prepared to encourage farmers and companies to take a more sustainable approach to their activities.
A so-called “acceleration team” has been appointed within the Department of Transport to set in motion the necessary government policies needed to achieve significant reductions in road users’ carbon emissions.
The agreed ranges for the limit values are:
Land use, land use change and forestry: 37-58pc
The upper target for most sectors except agriculture is expected to be announced when the final figures are announced.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/government-close-to-a-deal-on-strict-new-carbon-emission-targets-with-announcement-possible-this-evening-41874631.html The government is close to an agreement on tough new CO2 emissions targets, which could be announced tonight