Environment, Climate and Communications | Carbon sequestration targets
To ask the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the targets, if any, set for the achievement of carbon sequestration over the next five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2021 commits Ireland to a legally binding target of a climate neutral economy no later than 2050, and a reduction in emissions of 51% by 2030 compared to 2018 levels. Following the process set out in the Act, the Government approved Sectoral Emission Ceilings for both the first and second carbon budget periods, with the exception the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry sector. Finalising the sectoral emissions ceiling for the LULUCF sector has been deferred to end 2023 at the latest to coincide with the completion of the Land-use Review. Implementation and acceleration of the policies, measures and actions committed to for this sector in the 2021 Climate Action Plan will continue. The Irish LULUCF sector has been a net source of greenhouse gas emissions in all years from 1990 to 2021. This must be reversed, and the sector managed to become a net sink through sequestration in the longer term. The Government has committed to an enhanced delivery of afforestation through: a new Forestry Programme which, among other elements, enables farmers to plant up to one hectare of native woodland; and a revamped regulatory system including planning and legislation. In addition, the Government with support from the EU, is rehabilitating 33,000 hectares of former industrial peatlands across the Midlands, involving an investment of €108 million for carbon sequestration, biodiversity, water management and ecosystem services.
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