Minister Poots comments on the latest Carbon Intensity Indicators

Date published: 17 November 2021

Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots MLA has welcomed the continued progress that the dairy sector has made in reducing its carbon emissions per litre of milk produced.

The latest carbon intensity indicators published by the Department on 28 October show that total emissions (excluding sequestration) related to milk production decreased from a population average of 1,927 grams of CO2 equivalent per kilogram (Energy Corrected Milk-ECM) in 1990 to 1,240 grams in 2019. This is a 35.7% reduction and is mainly as a result of improved milk yields. 

Commenting on the figures, the Minister, said: “My Climate Change Bill will be seeking to reduce overall emissions across Northern Ireland and a number of measures and tools will be employed to achieve that outcome. The continuing reduction in carbon emissions per litre of milk that is being achieved by the Northern Ireland dairy sector is another positive contribution.

“Producing high quality agri-food with a low carbon footprint locally is a much better situation than simply increasing carbon leakage by shifting our food production elsewhere, which could be in many cases to areas that have less sustainable agri-food production practices, with higher carbon footprints and which have a much higher environmental impact than NI or the UK.

“It is highly conceivable that this could lead to a net increase in global emissions and ultimately be counterproductive. Indeed, outsourcing food production reduces the ability to support, encourage and monitor sustainable food production. It is my desire that the sector builds on the progress it has made to date and this is something that I will also seek to facilitate through future agricultural policies.”  

Notes to editors: 

  1. The sixth release of the NI Carbon Intensity Indicators was published on 28 October.
  2. Download the latest indicators.
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  4. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office.
  5. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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