Climate Change

Emissions of greenhouse gasses is causing climate change. Deforestation (loss of forest cover) is one of the major contributors to climate change and currently accounts for 17% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

However the forestry sector provides a range of opportunities to mitigate rises in greenhouse gas emissions including:

  • Afforestation and reforestation
  • Forest Management
  • Increased use of wood products
  • Increased use of forest products for bioenergy to replace fossil fuels

In an Irish context this results in:

  • Total carbon store in Irish forests currently exceeds 1 billion tones - most of it in the soil.
  • Irish Forests absorb about 6% of total green house gas emissions annually equivalent to c. 4 million tones of carbon dioxide (net of harvesting).
  • Forests planted post 1990 will absorb around 2.2 million tones of carbon dioxide per year - Projected annual saving to the tax payer of €44 million or €220 million over a 5 year period.
  • Government policy foresees major growth in the use of wood for energy generation in the future - replacing fossil fuels
  • Afforestation balances out harvesting and other decreases in carbon stocks - 15,000 ha per annum plus level required over next two decades whist also providing renewable energy resource and construction material

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“I planted some land in 1994. When I ran into some difficulties with the Department, I contacted Forestry Services Ltd even though they had not been involved in the initial planting they helped me

Jack Ronan, Orchardstown, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.
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