Climate Action Plan expected to exclude Cop26 methane reduction pledge

The Government is expected to publish the Climate Action Plan on Thursday, detailing measures to be taken over the next decade to tackle climate change.
Climate Action Plan expected to exclude Cop26 methane reduction pledge

The Government's Climate Action Plan is expected to exclude a pledge to cut methane emissions by 30 per cent signed by Taoiseach Micheál Martin and other world leaders earlier this week at the Cop26 summit.

According to The Irish Times, the plan is instead understood to include methane reductions of approximately 10 per cent, however, larger reductions across other greenhouse gases are being targeted in order to meet an overall reduction of 50 per cent by 2030.

On Tuesday, half of the world's top 30 methane emitters, including the US, EU, Indonesia, Pakistan, Argentina, Mexico, Nigeria, Iraq, Vietnam and Canada, joined the pledge to cut methane emissions by almost a third by the end of the decade.

The Climate Action Plan, which is expected to be published later this week, will detail measures to be taken over the next decade in various sectors, including agriculture, to tackle climate change.

Reductions in the agriculture sector are seen as the most contentious, however, it is understood Minister for Argriculture Charlie McConalogue and Minister for Climate Action Eamon Ryan have agreed to decreases, reportedly in the region of a 22-30 per cent cut on 2018 levels.

Much of the reductions are likely to come through carbon capture and storage, but any decrease linked to land use changes and afforestation will not be linked to agriculture targets.

It is expected the Climate Action Plan will be signed off at a Cabinet sub-committee meeting on Wednesday before being brought to a meeting of the full Cabinet on Thursday for final approval, after which it will be published.

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