MEPs approved new rules on Wednesday (13 September) accounting for the "negative emissions" from forestry as part of the EU’s 2030 climate change policy, a move welcomed by conservationists but which scientists warn risks creating incentives to burn cheap biomass.
Ahead of a European Parliament vote on land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF), Hannah Aho explains how MEPs have both strengthened and weakened draft forest rules she says are essential in the fight against climate change.
The European Parliament’s environment committee on Tuesday (11 July) adopted a proposal on Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF). But the draft report has provoked criticism across sectors, as it now moves towards a full plenary vote and trialogue.
Forest mitigation should be measured using a scientifically-objective approach, not allowing countries to hide the impacts of policies that increase net emissions, writes a group of environmental scientists led by Dr Joanna I House.
Former ‘climate heroes’ France, Finland, Sweden and Austria are fighting tooth and nail to weaken EU land accounting rules, also known as the Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) Regulation, writes Hannah Mowat.
EXCLUSIVE/ European Union countries exploited loopholes in United Nations forestry rules to pocket carbon credits worth €600 million and the equivalent of global-warming emissions from 114 million cars.
Forests are considered the nation’s ‘green gold’ in Finland. But the government's new climate and energy strategy means their potential as a carbon sink will halve in the coming years, reducing the ability to use forests as a buffer against climate change, writes Satu Hassi.
Bioenergy advocates claim that Europe’s forests are well managed and don’t contribute to global warming. Yet, biomass production in Europe is projected to rely more and more on materials that have a high risk of increasing greenhouse gas emissions, writes Linde Zuidema.
EU member states will be able to bank annual emissions savings from sectors such as agriculture and transport, and use them in later years to meet their climate targets, under EU legislation set to be put forward on Wednesday (20 July).
EXCLUSIVE / Weaknesses in the oversight of the European Union’s forestry sector has exposed it to the risk of being used to game government climate commitments and scoop up millions of euros worth of carbon credits.
A delicate negotiation about how to account for forestry and land use emissions looms large over this year’s UN climate conference in Paris. The issue is potentially divisive within the EU, and threatens to unravel the bloc’s proclaimed leadership on climate change.
Where the EU has otherwise been a trendsetter in international negotiations, it is most unfortunate that even California seems to have outpaced the EU on the balanced and equal integration of developing world forests into the carbon trading framework, argue David Ellison, Hans Petersson and Mattias Lundblad.