The Importance of Forestry
Our forests are a huge economic asset for the state, generating thousands of jobs and sequestering high levels of Co2. Despite ideal growing conditions, Ireland only currently has 11% forestry cover – one of the lowest levels in the EU. The government has also been selling harvesting rights to private operators instead of investing in this industry with public money. Our policy in this crucial area would include:
- A major increase in afforestation, including the greater use of native Irish species.
- An end to the selloff of harvesting rights to large private firms.
- Development of Coillte as a proper public company and removal of a management that encourages its privatisation.
- Build up downstream industry based on spins off from an expanded forestry sector.
- Diversify the species to maximize environmental benefits.
2019 Policy Interventions
- Invest in an expansion of the bus fleet and move to make public transport free
- Bring public transport Subvention to 2008 level then increase by 33%
- 5,000 renewable energy jobs as part of a five-year investment plan
- Reforestation Programme to move away from overreliance on Spruce
- Investment in water Infrastructure
- Invest heavily on cycling infrastructure to make this form of transport more accessible.