Emissions from agriculture fell by 1.2% in 2022, according to the Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC)

However, despite progress in many other sectors, as well as agriculture, in terms of reducing emissions, the CCAC has said it is unlikely that the first carbon budget will be met.

There are just two years left in the first carbon budget and "very significant" reductions in emissions for the remainder of the period would be required to avoid a carryover impact into the second carbon budget period, the CCAC has said.


"It is to be welcomed that the 2030 target of sales of less than 300,000t of nitrogen fertilisers per annum was achieved, thereby reducing nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions.

"Sustaining this early achievement will be essential, as there is a high risk of rebound if fertiliser prices fall," the CCAC said.

In 2023, the CCAC added that protected urea fertilisers represented less than 22% of straight nitrogen fertiliser sold against a target of up to 90% by 2025 and 100% by 2030.

It is essential and urgent, it argued, that the Government is very proactive in its communications with both suppliers and farmers to ensure that there are sufficient supplies available and that the benefits of switching are communicated to all farmers.

Current levels of methane (CH4) emissions continue at an elevated level, therefore jeopardising the sectoral ceiling, it said.

Commenting, CCAC chair Marie Donnelly said: “To build on the progress that has been made, the council urges Government and all of society to redouble its efforts to reduce emissions and grasp the opportunity now, to create a climate-neutral and sustainable society.”