The capacity of forests to act as a “carbon sink” – absorbing more CO2 than they emit – is decreasing and needs to be reversed, the European Commission said in September 2020 when it presented its 2030 climate target plan.
“We need a growing sink in order for the EU to achieve climate neutrality by 2050,” the EU executive said, calling for improved forest management as well as “re- and afforestation” initiatives to restore degraded land and preserve biodiversity.
In this special report, EURACTIV looks at Europe’s upcoming forest strategy and how it intends to plant “at least 3 billion additional trees in the EU by 2030.”
The complex role of forests in regulating the Earth's climate is set to become one of the most contentious issues in the upcoming revision of Europe’s energy and climate laws.
Europe will need to increase the amount of carbon stored by its forests and wetlands to meet a new, more ambitious target for carbon removals in Europe, according to a leaked policy draft seen by EURACTIV.
Sustainable forest management is key to keeping Europe's forests healthy and must be supported by EU legislation in order to help meet the bloc's 2030 climate goals, according to Finnish MEP, Petri Sarvamaa.
Voluntary schemes have not been enough to protect biodiversity in Europe's forests and more coordinated measures are needed to protect nature in the EU, according to Green lawmaker Ville Niinistö.
The European Commission on Wednesday (14 July) unveiled plans to build up carbon sinks, like forests and wetlands, as part of a broader package of climate legislation aimed at achieving a 55% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.