Updated Mar 1, 2022

Provisions included in Climate Change Bill to address methane emissions

The Northern Ireland Assembly has passed an amendment to the Climate Change (No. 2) Bill that aims to limit the production of methane by 46% to meet the Climate Change Act 2008 targets of net-zero carbon emissions in the UK.

The Climate Change (No. 2) Bill sets emissions targets for the decades up to 2050 for Northern Ireland where significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are to be achieved, as well as specific provisions for carbon budgeting, reporting and statements against those targets and budgets.

Recently, the Northern Ireland Assembly debated and passed an amendment to that Bill to reduce the production of methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases, mainly sourced from agriculture. Such reduction would be in line with the recommendations from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the UK's Committee on Climate Change (CCC). So far, in the UK, only Northern Ireland did not establish legislation to put it on the path of implementing net-zero efforts specified by the Climate Change Act 2008.

The Assembly stressed the importance of including agriculture emissions, methane in particular, in its efforts to curb climate change, as they form a large part of the region's greenhouse gas emissions and must be included in carbon budgeting to effectively address the issue.