Ireland joins forces with New Zealand to reduce their agriculture emissions
Author: Shauna Corr and Eithne Dodd
The key areas they are investigating are rumen (a complex ecosystem composed of anaerobic bacteria, protozoa, fungi, methanogenic archaea and phages) microbiology for reducing greenhouse gas emissions; monitoring and emission reduction technologies; animal breeding for reduced emissions and inventory improvement. Agriculture is Ireland’s single biggest greenhouse gas polluter, accounting for 37.5 per cent of the country’s emissions in 2021. Environmental Protections Agency figures found greenhouse gases from Irish agriculture rose 3 per cent in 2021 following an increase of 1.3 per cent in 2020. Agriculture must reduce its emissions 25 per cent by 2030 under the government's sectoral emissions ceilings announced in summer. The dairy industry, particularly in Ireland, is very big and has a strong lobby group. Similar to New Zealand, we are a western nation with an unusually high methane level when compared to all our greenhouse gas emissions due to our very large dairy industry. New Zealand's Minister for Primary Industries, Damien O’Connor, said: "New Zealand and Ireland understand the complexities of farming systems and the need to enhance productivity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "The partnership between New Zealand and Ireland, including the new projects will allow both countries to accelerate research to deliver much-needed tools and technology to farmers to reduce their emissions.