Prof Cathal O’Donoghue’s recent study – The Economics of Afforestation and Management in Ireland: Future Prospects and Plans – has been a wake-up call for forestry and agriculture in Ireland.

The report maintains that annual afforestation needs to increase to 18,000ha to achieve net zero by 2050. It makes the claim that if recent Government afforestation targets had been met, “then it would have been possible to sequester over time all the emissions from the increase in animal numbers over this period, in effect allowing for carbon-neutral dairy expansion”.