Climate Change Committee Examines Sustainable Forestry and Carbon Off-setting

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with special responsibility for Fisheries and Forestry Sean Connick, TD, is discussing sustainable forestry and forest carbon sequestration with the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Change and Energy Security today, Thursday, 13 January. The meeting is part of the Committee’s ongoing examination of the issue of sustainable forestry and carbon off-setting.

Carbon sequestration is the process by which atmospheric carbon dioxide is taken up by trees and other plants through photosynthesis and stored as carbon in biomass and soils. The sink of carbon sequestration in forests and wood products helps to offset sources of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, such as fossil fuel emissions. Sustainable forestry practices, improving forest health and harvesting and replanting forests can result in net carbon sequestration in wood products and new forest growth.

In July, the committee issued a report which recommended that the European Union should agree that forest carbon sinks can be used to offset Ireland’s non-Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) emissions. In the context of meeting the EU’s Renewable Energy Sources (RES) targets, more attention should be given to wood biomass, the submission concluded.

The meeting with Sean Connick, TD provides the Committee with an opportunity to get the Minister’s perspective on sustainable forestry and how forest carbon sequestration can offset sources of carbon dioxide and help reduce our carbon footprint and question the Minister on policy in this area.

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