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EU Methane Strategy Roadmap Submission by ICOS

ICOS has made a submission to the European Commission responding to the newly published Methane Strategy Roadmap, which includes a particular focus on the agricultural sector and is a precursor to potential new legislation and objectives on methane emission reductions.

ICOS’s submission outlines:

  • The difficulties in mitigating methane emissions in agriculture due to their biological nature. It is also important to recognise that agricultural methane emissions are the result of the production of food and that any reduction measures must be balanced with the growing global demand for food. Therefore, the focus must be on increasing the uptake of emission reduction practices and technologies and the promotion of food produced with low emissions per kg.
  • The important differentiation which exists between methane and other GHGs, such as carbon dioxide, due to its much shorter lifespan and cyclical nature.
  • The detailed advice which has been provided within the Teagasc Marginal Abatement Cost Curve (MACC), on actions Irish farmers can undertake to reduce GHG emissions, including methane, including a focus on animal genetics, improved finishing times, optimising output per head, extended grazing and animal health and diet. However there remains an overwhelming need to fund new research and develop new technologies designed to reduce emissions from agriculture. There are exciting innovations in this sphere at different stages of development, which requires ongoing support at EU level.
  • The potential of anaerobic digestion to reduce methane emissions from stored slurry and manure, in the production of biogas. However, public support and investment is necessary in order for a sustainable biogas industry to develop and take root in Ireland

You can view the submission in full here

Alison Graham, European Affairs Executive