Tools for Carbon Emissions Reduction
Forest Carbon Tool
Forests play an important role in the capture and removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, a process called sequestration. Sequestered carbon is accumulated in the form of forest biomass, deadwood, litter and in forest soils. The rate of carbon uptake is affected by many factors, such as tree species, productivity (yield class), forest age, soil type, tree stocking levels, forest management activities and previous land use. Carbon is also released from forest ecosystems resulting from natural processes (e.g. respiration by trees and decomposition of soil organic matter) as well as from planned activities such as timber harvesting. Forests are deemed to be ‘carbon sinks’ when the rate of carbon uptake exceeds the rate of carbon loss. The long term storage of carbon in harvested wood products (HWPs) and the substitution of selected wood products for fossil fuel energy sources are also important carbon mitigation pathways.
This Forest Carbon Tool from Teagasc provides indicative carbon sequestration trends for Grant and Premium Category (GPC) planting options available under the Forestry Programme 2014-2020. It also provides indicative carbon sequestration values for a range of selected species/species groups. The tool uses an internationally-recognised modelling framework (CFS-CBM) which has been calibrated for Irish forestry conditions. Data gaps exist for certain forest scenarios and categories. In this regard, updates and enhancements will be incorporated into future iterations of the tool subject to the availability and validation of appropriate data sources.