Irish Forestry Captures & Stores Carbon

EU Certification of Carbon Removals

Feb. 1, 2023

The EU carbon removal certification framework aims to scale up carbon removal activities and fight greenwashing by empowering businesses to show their action in this field.

Delivering on this potential, Irish forestry offers a local solution to so much of the nations emissions and our carbon offset targets. New planting, known as afforestation, is the most direct and measurable means to combat Irelands emissions. Irish forestry and woodland creation is established with the support of government grants and further supplemented by an annual premium, paid over a 15 year term to the land owner (20 years if that landowner qualifies as a farmer).

The established forestry and woodlands sequester carbon on an annual basis. This happens at different rates across the lifetime of the forest, but in figures published by TEAGASC, an estimate of annual average Carbon sequestered across 2 lifecycles of forestry is c. 3 tonnes of CO2 per hectare for Hardwoods and up to 7 tonnes of CO2 per hectare for a commercial forest. This includes harvested wood products, as this is both hugely important and essential to the valorisation of Irish forestry and Carbon accounting.

For Irish forest owners, especially those with recently planted or soon to be established forests, the carbon value in their forests can be a considerable source of additional income. Forestry premiums exhaust at 15 (or 20) years and from then to clearfell, for a commercial forest, income is through thinning - an important silvicultural intervention, but should not, by design, be overly lucrative. Therefore, additional income in the shape of traded carbon credits will be a very welcome and fruitful enterprise for those forest owners.

Creating a platform and framework for the legitimate and transparent trading of these credits has been a challenge to date. Validity and certainty over the merit of the credits has been a core issue. The proposed framework being developed by the EU will be welcome solution. As it develops and more information becomes available, Green Belt will provide all the relevant details to land and forest owners to allow them maximise their forestry returns.

In the meantime, should you have any questions, please contact Maurice Ryan on 0876753097 or by email at

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