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Biodiversity Friendly Carbon OffsetsWhat are they and why are we selling them?

However another huge problem threatening the environment alongside climate change is the alarming rate of biodiversity loss globally. The Living Planet Report in 2022 revealed “an average decline of 69% in species populations since 1970” (https://livingplanet.panda.org/en-US/) In 2019 the Dail declared both a National Climate and Biodiversity Emergency demonstrating that this global biodiversity loss affects Ireland as well. “The scale of Ireland’s biodiversity loss has been captured in many reports, including the 2019 report by the National Parks and Wildlife Service outlining the state of Ireland’s EU-protected habitats and species. It showed that 85 per cent of these habitats have “bad” or “inadequate” status including peatlands.” (https://www.irishtimes.com/environment/climate-crisis/2022/11/17/biodiversity-and-climate-crises-must-be-addressed-in-tandem/)

Fortunately both these huge problems can be tackled together. Resources directed towards carbon offsetting can also be used to benefit biodiversity and likewise resources directed towards protecting biodiversity can be used to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

This is not something we see happening as often as it should and in general the focus seems to be on carbon sequestration without much consideration for the benefits that could simultaneously be applied for biodiversity. 

Green Sod Ireland’s biodiversity friendly carbon offsetting scheme focuses first and foremost on restoring habitats and reversing biodiversity loss in Ireland. A positive side effect of this is that healthy habitats can be very effective at carbon sequestration. Woodlands and peatlands are particularly effective at carbon sequestration but at Green Sod Ireland we do not neglect to protect and manage other important habitats such as emerging scrub and species rich grassland. Both of these are examples of habitats that are often replaced with forests in traditional carbon offsetting schemes at the expense of the species living there even though these habitats also sequester carbon. They are not usually valued as highly as they do not store the same quantity of carbon per hectare but this mindset does not take into account the other benefits these habitats can have for biodiversity and the health of the entire ecosystem.

Likewise a forest with a diverse mix of native trees, such as the ones present on our land, will sequester a similar amount of carbon as a monoculture or less diverse forest but the lower the diversity of tree species in the forest the less biodiversity of other species it can host.

Green Sod Ireland is selling biodiversity friendly carbon offsets to provide an option to organisations interested in tackling the issues of climate change and biodiversity loss in conjunction with each other.

If this is something your organisation would be interested in you can contact us at: rory@greensodireland.ie  or find more information on our website at https://greensodireland.ie/biodiversity-fri…y-carbon-credits/

Carbon Offset – Carbon offset, any activity that compensates for the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) or other greenhouse gases (measured in carbon dioxide equivalents [CO2e]) by providing for an emission reduction elsewhere. Because greenhouse gases are widespread in Earth’s atmosphere, the climate benefits from emission reductions regardless of where such cutbacks occur. (https://www.britannica.com/technology/carbon-offset)