Farmers are demanding a system that calculates how much carbon is in their land and forests.
The Department of Agriculture has established a Carbon Farming Working Group that is in the early stages of developing a system that can pay farmers to segregate carbon. The focus is on the ability of agricultural land to sequester carbon, in line with the government’s commitment under the Climate Action Plan to Develop Carbon Agriculture initiatives.
The lack of an official regulatory system for calculating carbon has been a sore point for many farmers, especially given the increasing environmental demands placed on the sector. In particular, the inability to calculate sequestered carbon from six million kilometers of hedgerows in Irish farmland has affected many farmers.
The Carbon Farming Group will initially be made up of quasi-state and government departments and encourage emissions reduction, while also developing a potential alternative source of income for landowners and forest dwellers.
A spokesman for the Department of Environment said farming independent The system can work similar to the Woodland Environment Fund (WEF), where businesses are paid €1,000/ha to set up forestry with a landowner.
The spokesperson explained that this, “includes a mix of private finance and state funding to pay farmers to establish native woodlands. WEF is concerned with biodiversity, water quality, climate mitigation, and health and wellness in Ireland.” Demonstrates willingness to deal with broader societal issues.
Carbon farming and sequestration is also being viewed seriously by the European Commission, which is working on a regulatory framework for certification of carbon removal. The target is to implement this certification system by the end of the year.
“In the interim, they intend to establish an expert group consisting of forestry, agriculture and environmental experts to advise on plans for the new framework. The expert group will be launched in the second quarter of 2022, where member state authorities and stakeholders on carbon farming Can exchange best practices and share experiences, ”said the spokesperson.
This expert group will give Ireland an opportunity to share its ideas with other member states and farmers will hopefully include a framework to reward them for segregating carbon.