Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action

Sequestration and Land Management-Nature Restoration: Discussion (Resumed)

Photo of Brian LeddinBrian Leddin (Limerick City, Green Party)
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I apologise for the technical difficulties we had earlier. Professor Joosten's statement was very detailed and clear. I know English is not his first language, but he displayed a fluency for which I thank him.

I have a question for Dr. Moran and Professor Joosten. Regarding the opportunities in carbon farming, we heard last week that there could be very significant opportunity there. I take Dr. Moran's point that we cannot go from intensive food production to intensive carbon sequestration and not be fully aware of the potential consequences of that. It is a very complex subject. If I am quoting him correctly, Mr. Niall Ó Brolcháin said at a meeting of the committee last week that there is significant opportunity for carbon farming and the development of sphagnum moss. He said that, ultimately, it might be a solution to the shortage of peat in the horticulture industry. It seems that there is often a narrative that rewetting is about putting farmland out of use and out of use for food production but really it is about raising the water table. In many cases, food production can continue while in other cases, there are opportunities for sphagnum growth and perhaps harvesting of that down the line. Could Dr. Moran comment on that.