Partnership with UK investment firm highlights serious flaws in Government’s approach to forestry policy and climate action

The Government must immediately intervene to scrap the controversial deal between Coillte and a UK-based investment firm, according to Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore.

Deputy Whitmore, who is the party’s spokesperson on Climate and Biodiversity, said:

“The partnership between Coillte and Gresham House highlights serious flaws in the Government’s approach to forestry policy and climate action. In this respect, it flies in the face of the principle of a just transition.

“Under the plan, Coillte – a State entity – will do all the heavy lifting by sourcing tens of thousands of acres in rural Ireland, planting trees and managing the forests – but private international investors will reap the rewards.

“This is a lucrative, secure, low-risk investment, which the Government will be subsidising through forestry grant schemes and tax incentives. There is widespread concern within farming communities that it will have the effect of pushing up land prices.

“Given the Taoiseach’s admission in the Dáil today that this deal was not signed off on by Cabinet, the question must be asked: why is the Government facilitating what amounts to a land grab and what will it do to pull the plug on this partnership?”

January 18, 2023

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