Forestry and a low carbon economy – a background paper.

  • Maarten Nieuwenhuis UCD Forestry, UCD School ofAgriculture and Food Science, Belfield, Dublin 4.
  • Eugene Hendrick UForest Sector Development, Department ofAgriculture, Food and the Marine, Agriculture House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
  • Henry Phillips Forestry Consultant, Cloot Na Bare, Rathonoragh, Co. Sligo.
Keywords: Green economy, renewable energy, low carbon materials, forest sector.


The forest sector plays and will play an important role in relation to climate change mitigation and the development of a green economy. Sequestration of carbon dioxide through forest cover expansion and management of forests, allied to the production ofwood and wood products to replace fossil fuels and energy intensive materials, are the main contributions that the forest sector in Ireland makes to climate change mitigation. Significant potential exists to increase this contribution. Looking to the global scale, reduction and avoidance of deforestation is the key forest policy that will contribute to reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. However, there are a number of uncertainties and unknowns that need elucidation and clarification before the full potential of the forest sector can be determined and optimised. This article provides an overview of the current state of knowledge in relation to the forest sector’s existing and potential contributions to the development of a green economy and follows this with a discussion of important issues that need clarification and research. It is essential to ensure that the contribution of the forest sector as an efficient carbon sink and as a producer of renewable, low-carbon materials does not adversely impact on forests as providers of a wide range of other ecosystem goods and services.
How to Cite
Nieuwenhuis, M., Hendrick, E. and Phillips, H. (2013) “Forestry and a low carbon economy – a background paper.”, Irish Forestry, pp. 18-35. Available at: (Accessed: 29May2024).