IFA requests “legal opinion on ownership” of “carbon sequestered in forests”

IFA requests

The Irish Farmers ‘Association (IFA) has said it will “challenge any decision” by the government to “claim ownership of carbon sequestered in farmers’ forests”.

IFA Agricultural Forestry Committee Chairman Vincent Nally said that “there is no reference in the terms and conditions of the afforestation program that gives the state the right to claim ownership of the carbon. sequestered in our forests ”.

He said the IFA “has sought legal advice on the ownership of carbon rights and will challenge any attempt to interfere with a farmer’s rights to sell their forest’s carbon removals and reductions to a voluntary market. carbon “.

He said the forestry premium is paid to compensate farmers “for income lost while the trees are growing.”

“It does not give the state the right to claim ownership of the sequestered carbon,” he said.

“The justification used by the Minister [Charlie McConalogue] it’s because the state paid the forestry premiums, so it now owns the carbon. It just doesn’t stack.

“Using this logic, he will then attempt to claim ownership of the timber that grows in our forests.

“Although there are no national carbon standards to allow voluntary carbon markets to function at this time, farmers are very interested in establishing such a market and realizing the value of the carbon stored in it. their forests. ”

He said the minister must “reassure farmers that they actually own the carbon in their forests.”

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