An organisation which aims to put in place a platform for farmers and private foresters to validate and trade carbon credits has been established.

The Carbon Removals Action Group (CRAG) has been formally launched, which will support private forestry owners and farmers who are seeking to monetise the carbon credits which their plantations and lands generate.

The new organisation is headed up by Limerick farmer and forestry owner, John Hourigan, with Nadaline Webster elected secretary and Tim Hurley voted in as treasurer.

While the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue muddied the waters regarding the ownership of carbon credits from forestry at a recent CAP meeting – claiming that proprietorship of the sequestration rights was disputed – Hourigan has insisted that farmers would legally defend their property rights if required.

He said the focus of CRAG would now move to scientifically validating the carbon removals from forestry plantations at different stages of maturity, and establishing a platform to trade these carbon credits at home and abroad.

CRAG also intends to challenge the scientific consensus around greenhouse emissions from livestock.

Membership of the organisation has been set at €100 for forestry owners, and €50 for livestock farmers.