Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has said that every sector of the economy must do “the most it possibly can” to reduce emissions to reach climate action targets.
The key objective was to strike an appropriate balance, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.
When asked about comments by Green Party leader Eamon Ryan at the weekend when he said that herd numbers could have to be cut to meet emissions targets, Mr McConalogue said that every possible step would be taken to minimise emissions during food production.
Every sector of the economy was willing to step up to the plate in relation to playing its part in reducing emissions, he said.
“My key objective is that we back Irish farming families to continue their important work in producing healthy sustainable nutritious food in this country while taking every step we possibly can in reducing the emissions profile.
“The key objective is to strike the appropriate balance.
“To take every possible step we can to minimise emissions of how we produce that food. We are one of the most sustainable food producing nations in the world, but we want to get even better. We want to be the best.”
Mr McConalogue added that there were new and emerging opportunities which farmers were embracing, such as solar energy, forestry, methane reduction, but the core mission remained the production of healthy sustainable food.