A new report from the Society of Irish Foresters (SIF) demonstrates how a proper policy framework around the Climate Action Plan could deliver economic and environmental sustainability. The climate plan identifies afforestation as “the single largest land-based climate change mitigation measure available to Ireland”. But according to the SIF report, there is a total lack of innovative measures to increase afforestation.

The climate plan’s approach to forestry is dismissed by SIF. Instead, it proposes an afforestation scheme that will leverage the carbon value sequestered by forests and use this to reward and incentivise farmers to plant some of their farms. A critical first step is to establish a forest carbon code (FCC) for Ireland along the lines of the UK’s Woodland Carbon Code.