Enhancing EverGreen.

National Ecosystem Services Standard is being developed for forest-based carbon in Ireland

Carbon offsetting from forestry is implemented in voluntary markets under schemes, such as Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS), American Carbon Registry (ACR), Climate Action or the Gold Standard.

Recently a new initiative, National Ecosystem Services Standard (ESS) is being developed in Ireland and it aims to be launched in 2021. The development of a simple and cost-effective national voluntary standard provides a template for forestry project developers to implement carbon sequestration via afforestation. The ESS scheme seeks issuing carbon credits upfront, after initial project registration and verification. This provides an important economic advantage in terms of discounted cashflows. The ESS will be linked with the existing afforestation grant and premium scheme, hence ensuring alignment with Irish legislation.

In addition, registration of project parallel with the afforestation grant applications will make the project development, registration and validation smooth and cost effective. Similar scheme has been developed in the UK (Woodland Carbon Code). In Ireland, forest carbon offsets will include the carbon stored in harvested wood products. This is not included in any other voluntary schemes.

Sitka Spruce in Ireland is among the fastest growing trees in Europe achieving mean annual increment as high as 20-30 m3/ha/year. This is comparable to any fast growing plantation in warm climate. Hence afforestation of bare land in Ireland is a remarkable opportunity to create new carbon sink and storage with clear additionality benefits. The ESS will enable to monetise the ecosystem services, such as the carbon fixed in forests. This will further increase the attractiveness of timberland investment in Ireland.

For further information, please contact Petteri Seppänen, petteri.seppanen@dasos.fi, tel. +358 40 7282819