Report on Carbon Modelling of the Coillte Estate
Why did we prepare this report?
There is a growing demand on our forests to provide more, particularly in relation to helping tackle the climate and biodiversity challenges, in providing important health and wellness spaces for people, as well as providing sustainable wood products to help address our housing demands.
The climate emergency is recognised as the greatest challenge we face as a society. There is an urgent need for Ireland to meet stretching climate action targets and the Irish forestry sector and Coillte have an important role to play in the achievement of these targets.
Understanding climate and the climate change mitigation potential of our forests is highly complex. This report details the assessment undertaken to determine the current Greenhouse Gas (GHG) profile of Coillte’s existing forest estate and to identify and assess the GHG mitigation potential of silvicultural management options of the existing managed forest estate based on a number of assumptions set out in the report.
What does the study consider?
This study characterises the future Greenhouse Gas (GHG) profile of the Coillte forest estate under a “business-as-usual” scenario and identifies and assesses management options to improve the CO2 capture potential of the forest estate under a “New Forestry Model” scenario. The options considered include extension of rotation ages, increased ““no-thin”” management and, on peatland forests; rewetting (bog restoration), rewilding or replanting where appropriate.
What are the outcomes of the study?
The GHG profile for the business-as-usual scenario shows a consistent decline in removals and a transition to net emissions by 2045. In comparison, the New Forestry Model, except for the period 2050 to 2053 where is becomes a small emitter, remains a net remover until 2060. The New Forestry Model provides total removals of ca. 10MT up to 2050 and represents an overall emission reduction saving of ca.19 MT CO2 over the period 2021 to 2100 when compared to the business-as-usual scenario.
This report was limited because it used a defined system boundary that does not consider the importation of timber from potentially unsustainable sources or the substitution of fossil-based materials to replace lost timber flows, nor does it consider the carbon sequestration and climate mitigation potential of afforestation. The report highlights the need for further research, analysis, and pilot studies to enable a better understanding of the climate change mitigation potential of our forests.
Fossil Displacement and Value Chain Emissions Related to Primary Wood Based Products in Ireland; Peter Holmgren 2021
This report undertakes an analysis to assess how the global climate is impacted by the domestic forest-based sector (Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland). Scenarios were then examined to determine the relative magnitude of different climate actions on the daily operations of the sector based on the effects of changes in production levels and efficiency.