Ireland’s agriculture emissions are hurtling in the wrong direction

Not meeting our 2030 targets could see Irish beef and dairy being produced by a country regarded as Europe’s dirtiest emitter

A cow with methane-collection equipment on her back. Grass is a cheap way to feed cows, but as  methanogens break  down grass in the stomach they  produce methane,  a potent greenhouse gas Photograph:   Rachel Doyle

A cow with methane-collection equipment on her back. Grass is a cheap way to feed cows, but as methanogens break down grass in the stomach they produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas Photograph: Rachel Doyle

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar admitted to the European Parliament in January what climate activists have long known: Ireland’s performance on climate change is abysmal. “As far as I am concerned,” he said, “we are a laggard.”

If only. When it comes to emissions Ireland is no laggard. At least a laggard moves. There isn’t a hope that Ireland’s obligatory EU reduction targets for 2020 will be met, and the prospect of reaching our 2030 targets is dismal.

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