The Irish Forestry and Forest Products Association (IFFPA), the Ibec group that represents the sector, have responded to today’s publication of the National Climate Mitigation Plan, outlining the significant contribution the sector can make towards delivering an environmentally sustainable economy.
Mark McAuley, Director of IFFPA, said, “Forestry has been clearly identified as one of the climate change mitigation tools that can deliver very high volumes of CO2 sequestration at a lower cost than most of the other available options.
“Irish forests planted in the thirty years from 1990 to 2020 will capture 4.5 million tonnes of CO2 from the air during the period 2021 to 2030 alone. This demonstrates the enormous climate change capacity of the Irish afforestation programme. LULUCF (Land use, land use change and forestry) rules give Ireland the possibility to mitigate 2.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent each year.
“Numerous studies have found that Ireland has an adequate availability of land to meet the needs of a strong afforestation programme. Currently, forest cover consists 11% of Ireland’s land. There is a government policy ambition to grow this figure to 18% by 2050.
“Ireland has an ideal climate for growing trees. The yield and productivity of Irish softwood forests is very high. This is an obvious source of competitive advantage for Ireland which provides an ideal opportunity to combine an economic and environmental return to the country.”
The Irish Forestry and Forest Products Association (IFFPA) is a trade association within Ibec. IFFPA represents the forest industry from forestry companies to sawmills and forest product companies.