Farm Ireland

Thursday 25 April 2019

Forestry key to carbon targets

The government wants to increase forestry plantation.
The government wants to increase forestry plantation.
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

Farmers are being encouraged to think of forestry as a "new crop" on farmland as they move to reduce carbon emissions in agriculture to help tackle climate change.

The Government hopes to rapidly increase forestry plantation levels from a low base, with 43,000ha planted by 2020.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has warned there will be "no free pass" for agriculture ahead of the climate change talks in Paris.

He said food production must not be threatened as "any fool" can lower emissions by reducing production but the answer globally is much more complex than that.

Land mitigation

Mr Coveney said afforestation will be a significant land mitigation tool up to 2030.

Some 300,000ha new forest has been planted since 1990.

The Government hopes the afforestration will be taken into account as a mitigating tool for climate change.

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Minister of State Tom Hayes said landowners are being encouraged to see forestry as a viable option that delivers a good income.

Agriculture accounts for over 30pc of Ireland's emissions profile as the country does not have a largescale manufacturing sector, with the country described as an efficient producer.

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