Welcome to Carbon Removals Action Group Ireland
We're a small group founded in 2019 to facilitate the emerging market in carbon credits for famers in Ireland. It's fair to say that there is a lot that we (and everyone else) didn't understand about the current political climate, legislation that had already been agreed to that serves as a roadblock, the fundamental lack of public support for the agricultural community, the sheer scale of the 'vested interest and lobby groups' positioned to directly and deliberately damage farming and the extent to which certain communities in Ireland are silenced and suppressed.
As we stand here in June of 2022, we have undertaken extensive research on every aspect of the climate change debate, engaged with scientists and legal advisors, hammered down doors to speak with government representatives and finally we are beginning to see some traction in the conversation.
We owe a huge debt to our core founder, John Hourigan, a farmer from Murroe in Co Limerick who simply wanted to own and sell his carbon credits in circumstances where he wouldn't otherwise be credited for them. Due in no small part to his absolute persistence in pursuing those rights, we are making some progress towards that one small, simple goal which should never have been so difficult to achieve.
There is value in carbon credits for every farmer in Ireland and it is critical that we do not permit our ownership of our own land to be diminished. And not only do we need to establish our ownership of our own land but the exercise of those ownership rights in circumstances where it frankly does not serve the government's interests to allow us to do so - although it serves the National interest.
And furthermore, we cannot allow our government to create policies that ignore the existing science and use those policies to punish every farmer in this country. It is difficult to believe that we stand where we do. I certainly never anticipated that the government could be so wilfully blind and impervious to reason, nor that legal action would be required to assert our rights. But here we stand.
For the moment, the government 'allows us' (their words) to pursue voluntary carbon contracts (the sale of carbon credits that cannot be offset against emissions in any meaningful sense and that companies use in a marketing capacity. These contracts are not be undervalued and for some farmers, there are revenue streams to be unlocked there.
But as each week has gone by across these past 18 months, the picture has shifted and the noose has tightened. It's been challenging to even keep up with a conversation that is moving so fast with so many stakeholders. So many decisions are being made behind closed doors and our representative bodies nowhere in sight.
Carbon budgets, despite our submission (which you can download on our resources page) and advocacy and now Minister Ryan is fighting for a reduction of 30% in agricultural emissions. For the present time, you will not be allowed to offset your removals against your emissions resulting in the ridiculous situation where a farmer who is actually carbon positive might well be forced to reduce stock numbers and income to pay homage to a fantasy in which farmers are the environmental evil of our times.
Our goals are simple:
1) Understand and inform the farming community at large of the current situation and developments as they happen
2) Advocate for our private property rights, taking legal action as necessary
3) Work with stakeholders to provide a rational and fair framework in which carbon credits can be monetised by the people who own the property that removes carbon and carbon equivalents from the atmosphere
4) Help farmers to develop markets and secure buyers for their carbon credits, both voluntary and offset credits
Achieving them is not so simple! We'd love to hear from you, please get in touch via our 'contact us' form.