A study of the outcome of Irish agriculture policy on Ireland’s climate change obligations compared to other countries with similar agriculture sectors
Corbett, James G.
University College Cork
The Kyoto Protocol, while not successful in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, established the main actions required to control emissions. Its successor the Paris Agreement sets a target of climate neutrality by 2050. The EU has adopted a climate leadership position with an interim target of a 40% (or 55%) reduction by 2030. This thesis examines the evolution of Irish GHG emissions over the period of the Kyoto Protocol compared to a selected group of countries with comparable agriculture sectors. It demonstrates that Ireland’s overall emissions increased over the period from 1990 to 2020, with agricultural emissions remaining flat during the same period. Other EU countries have largely complied with their emission reduction commitments and look set to meet future targets. Government policy is shown to be the main causal factor for emission outcomes. An increase in climate and environmental concerns is leading to new, more comprehensive environmental policies to reduce emissions. An aware public, backed by legal precedent, is forcing governments to act. In pursuing a policy of continued growth for the current agricultural model, it is difficult to see how Irish agriculture can avoid forced cuts in GHG emissions with so little progress made in its other emitting sectors.
GHG emissions , Irish agriculture , Kyoto Protocol , Environmental policy , Agricultural policy
Corbett, J. G. 2022. A study of the outcome of Irish agriculture policy on Ireland’s climate change obligations compared to other countries with similar agriculture sectors. MRes Thesis, University College Cork.