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European forests: Briefing note

What impact has the Renewable Energy Directive had on EU forests?

The EU Renewable Energy Directive was launched in 2009 to great fanfare and the promise that the EU would fulfil at least 20 per cent of its total energy needs with renewables. Few could have guessed that a policy intended to help the EU meet climate goals would lead to vast increases in the burning of wood, degrading forests in Europe and beyond. See a summary of the new research commissioned by Fern, Birdlife Europe and Transport & Environment:
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Briefing note:

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PDF iconFull report489.12 KB
PDF iconReport summary310.81 KB

Arctic Limits: How Finland’s forest policies threaten the Sámi and the climate

Finland is a test case in the fight against climate change. As the world edges closer to breaching the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global temperature rises below 2 degrees, forests have become increasingly important in discussions around how to battle climate change. Yet accounting for emissions from the forests sector is devilishly complex and riddled with loopholes. This briefing focusses on the case of Finland, Europe’s most heavily forested nation.

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PDF iconArctic Limits_Final.pdf1.77 MB

The most crucial challenges facing Europe’s forests

This short briefing outlines BirdLife, European Environmental Bureau and FERN recommendations for the Parliament’s own initiative report on the EU Forest Strategy.

NGO participation in the rural development policy

Forests cover more than 42 per cent of European Union (EU) land, almost as large an area as is covered by agricultural production. Most support for forest practices in the EU comes from Rural Development policy, the second pillar of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

On paper, the current Rural Development Regulation requires consultations to take place at different levels (known as the ‘partnership principle’). In practice however, the input of stakeholders can still be improved.

Based on research and case studies from six EU countries, this briefing note investigates the extent to which implementation of the ‘partnership principle’ has been successful.

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PDF iconOPEN1.42 MB

The lack of coherence between national rural development programmes and EU environmental commitments


The European Union (EU) is signatory to several environmental commitments, including the Göteborg commitments to reserve biodiversity decline by 2010 and the Kyoto Protocol targets for climate change mitigation. These commitments should be supported by EU policies such as the Rural Development Regulation. This briefing note looks at the expected effect of six EU Member States’ rural development programmes, and finds that, all too often, they are likely to undermine rather than support the EU’s environmental commitments.

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PDF iconOPEN1.55 MB

Is the rural development policy supporting good forest management and biodiversity conservation?


The European Union’s (EU) Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the largest EU source of support for forest practices. This money sits under the Rural Development pillar of the CAP and the policy which guides this funding is the Rural Development Regulation (RDR). This briefing note considers whether the RDR is contributing to good forest management and biodiversity conservation by looking at both afforestation measures and Natura 2000 (forest) payments of six countries.

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PDF iconOPEN1.92 MB

Rural Development Regulation fails to meet EU targets

The environmental quality and health of European forests is declining, and an increasing number of forest-dependent species are now endangered as a result of poor forestry practices. However, the new Rural Development Regulation for 2007–2013, which could be used to help prevent this biodiversity loss, looks set to miss the mark, as shown by research in this FERN - TRN Briefing Note.
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Most recent publications

Blog: Białowieża forest struggle is symptomatic of a greater ill

 

As Polish authorities disregard national protests and international pressure to stop logging, activists face increasing hostility in order to protect Białowieża, Europe’s last primeval forest. Activists estimate that 600-900 trees are felled daily.

EU’s Environment Committee recognises role of forests in fighting climate change but fails on bioenergy

The European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee today voted to increase removals of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by forests from 2030 onwards, recognising the important role that EU fore

What impact has the Renewable Energy Directive had on EU forests?

The EU Renewable Energy Directive was launched in 2009 to great fanfare and the promise that the EU would fulfil at least 20 per cent of its total energy needs with renewables. Few could have guessed that
a policy intended to help the EU meet climate goals would lead to vast increases in the burning of wood, degrading forests in Europe and beyond.
 
DocumentSize
PDF iconFull report489.12 KB
PDF iconReport summary310.81 KB

One step forward, two steps back for EU on climate and forests

Today, the European Parliament took one step forward and two steps back for the climate and forests.

Read the full Press Release

On a positive front, the Environment Committee voted to strengthen the EU’s climate target for the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) - which covers the agriculture, waste, buildings and transport sectors - by reducing the amount of ‘LULUCF offsets’ they had access to by 90 million tons of CO2.

Arctic Limits: How Finland’s forest policies threaten the Sámi and the climate

Finland is a test case in the fight against climate change. As the world edges closer to breaching the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global temperature rises below 2 degrees, forests have become increasingly important in discussions around how to battle climate change.

DocumentSize
PDF iconArctic Limits_Final.pdf1.77 MB

The most crucial challenges facing Europe’s forests

This short briefing outlines BirdLife, European Environmental Bureau and FERN recommendations for the Parliament’s own initiative report on the EU Forest Strategy.

Pages