Over 450 submissions have been received by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) in response to a public consultation on the development of a national carbon farming framework. The DAFM is leading the charge in creating this framework, which aims to put farmers, landowners, and foresters at the forefront of efforts to meet national climate objectives. The online survey, launched on September 26 and open for submissions until November 3, garnered a total of 457 responses.
The survey sought input from stakeholders on various aspects of the framework, including land use, funding, and market mechanisms. The findings of this consultation will play a crucial role in guiding the decision-making process of a multi-stakeholder working group established by the DAFM to oversee the development of the framework.
Carbon farming, the practice of sequestering carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and storing it in soils, is the central focus of this initiative. The aim is to reward farmers for their efforts in reducing emissions and increasing carbon sequestration. However, for farmers to generate income from this process, a well-functioning framework is deemed essential.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, acknowledges that there are still numerous challenges and uncertainties surrounding carbon farming. These include the establishment of baseline data, quantification and verification of emission reductions, and certification processes. Minister McConalogue emphasizes the importance of addressing these issues to ensure the success of carbon farming in Ireland.
At the European level, discussions are currently underway regarding a proposal for a voluntary framework for carbon removal across Europe, put forth by the European Commission in 2022. This demonstrates the wider recognition of the significance of carbon farming in tackling climate change.
It is evident that there is a strong interest and engagement from stakeholders in shaping the national carbon farming framework in Ireland. The high number of submissions received during the public consultation reflects the importance attached to this issue. The DAFM, along with the multi-stakeholder working group, will now carefully consider the feedback received and use it to inform the development of an effective and comprehensive framework.
The success of carbon farming depends on the collaboration and cooperation of all relevant parties, including farmers, landowners, and foresters. By harnessing the potential of this practice, Ireland can make significant strides towards achieving its climate objectives while also providing economic opportunities for those involved in the agricultural sector.
The development of a robust carbon farming framework will not only benefit Ireland but also contribute to the wider global efforts in combating climate change. It is an important step towards a more sustainable future, where agriculture plays a pivotal role in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and promoting climate resilience.