Thursday, 14 July 2022
Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions
Nothing will change unless the forthcoming forestry programme has some radical changes to overhaul the licensing system and to transfer incentives from other sectors to forestry. I cannot understand how it is not more of a priority, especially when the Green Party is in government, given that the climate benefits from carbon sequestration to compensate for net emission-producing areas are so clear.
The 2021 climate action plan recognises that afforestation is the single largest land-based climate change mitigation measure available to Ireland, yet the Government's policies are reaching a disastrous one quarter of the targets. The Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, has already found that the climate action plan will be entirely insufficient. Now that the sectoral targets are being negotiated, with demands for a 22% cut in agricultural emissions, without sufficient forestry there is not a hope of that sectoral target being reached. I am interested to know what the Minister and his two Ministers of State think the sectoral target should be. Given the Government's track record on this, I have no confidence that it will achieve either the forestry or climate targets.