The Minister for Agriculture has said Irish agriculture will not have to make the same level of greenhouse gas emission cuts as other sectors.
Speaking to RTÉ News Charlie McConalogue said: "It is very clear, and it is clear in the programme for government, that agriculture will not have to deliver the same level of target as other sectors of the economy."
Agriculture produces around 35% of greenhouse gas emissions in the state, Transport at around 20% is the next most polluting sector.
Minister McConalogue said the cuts from agriculture would be "proportionate to what agriculture can deliver" but Ireland's "sustainable advantage" in how it produces food will have to be acknowledged.
In an interview to mark World Food Day, he said it is important that Ireland continues to contribute to food security saying "the key principle in how we approach it is that we have to be able to produce the food, but in terms of producing it, we have to reduce its overall footprint and to the maximum extent that we can."
Minister Charlie McConalogue says Irish Agriculture will not make same emission cuts as other sectors. It will continue to produce same level of food but with a smaller footprint #WorldFoodDay @rtenews pic.twitter.com/tLsxyxBvA2— Colman O'Sullivan (@colmanos) October 16, 2021
On how Ireland could cut methane emissions without reducing livestock numbers, he said work is already being done on breeding and efficiency and investments have been made in research "because there is real potential for science and new technology to deliver on this in the years ahead too".