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Forests and climate: NGO Statements

Climate Action in the Land Sector: Treading carefully

This policy brief explains how and why Post-Paris climate negotiations can and should build effective climate action, without threatening human rights and natural ecosystems.

Biofuels are not a way to decarbonise aviation

This letter to Commissioner Bulc explains why NGOs are concerned about his statement that “Biofuels are the ‘best choice’ at this point to start to decarbonize the industry”. Relying on large-scale biofuel cultivation leads to more environmental damage. The only way Europe’s aviation policy can help meet Paris Agreement goals is to focus on reducing demand.

Open letter condemning the clear-cutting of the Hambacher Forest

For more than 12,000 years the Hambacher forest has stood in North West Germany. It is home to iconic and endangered species, such as the iconic Lily of the Valley, the Agile Frog and the Dormouse.

We, the undersigned organisations, condemn the clear-cutting of this beautiful and ancient forest of European importance and demand an end to all activities that harm the forest and its inhabitants.

NGO Position on the post 2020 LULUCF regulation

LULUCF is a crucial pillar of the EU’s 2030 climate and energy framework, alongside the Emissions Trading System and the Effort Sharing Regulation. 

The proposed Regulation for the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sectors (which determines how Member States must act between 2021 and 2030) is unambitious and must be strengthened in several ways to ensure LULUCF sectors sufficiently contribute to keeping temperature rise to well below 2°C (and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C).

The following recommendations, put together and endorsed by all members of CAN Europe as well as Fern, Transport & environment and Bird life international show how to improve the LULUCF proposal and show that Europe must shift towards more sustainable forestry and land management as the most feasible option to achieve negative emissions at scale.

International declaration denounces ICAO offset plan

Aviation is one of only two sectors worldwide with no existing United Nations’ (UN) targets to reduce emissions. The UN International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has put forward a proposal to deal with climate change which foresees emissions increasing by between 300-700 per cent by 2050.
 
As the ICAO Assembly gathers to consider the proposal, 90 organisations stand together to denounce the plans in their current form as they undermine our ability to limit warming to the agreed UN aim of well below 2° Celsius, aiming for 1.5° Celsius.
They call on ICAO to reduce emissions now and to exclude forest and soil carbon offsets as a first step. We need to reduce aviation emissions AND protect forests, not one or the other.
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PDF iconFinal_September.pdf515.24 KB

LULUCF and Starting Point in the non-ETS sectors

This letter from eleven NGOs urges the European Commission to ensure that the final decision on the effort sharing decision is not watered down, but instead that ambition is increased. The letter makes two recommendations:

  1. The starting point should be based on trajectory from actual 2016-2018 emissions, and 2021 ESD targets for those countries that will not meet their targets (for fairness).
  2. Carbon removals from forest and land use should be promoted in addition to (and not replacing) emission reductions in agriculture, waste, buildings etc.

The European Commission will issue their proposal on the 20th July 2016

EU urged to ensure that 2030 Effort Sharing Decision is fit for purpose

As the ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement gets under way, a group of NGOs and businesses have issued an open letter calling on the EU to ensure that the 2030 Effort Sharing Decision, its main climate instrument, is fit for purpose

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PDF iconESD_letter486.51 KB

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Most recent publications

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

Blog: Aviation industry's carbon offsetting plans keep flying into trouble

by Julia Christian

Keeping global warming below 1.5°C - which the Paris Agreement strives to – means fundamental changes for industries from energy to transport. Yet the aviation sector - one of the planet’s biggest emitters of carbon dioxide (CO2) - is trying to avoid making changes.  If it were a country, aviation would be the world’s seventh largest emitter. So the challenge to reduce its emissions is urgent. The response so far from the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has been to actually propose an increase in flying.

NGOs call for policy changes in the wake of Portugal’s forest fires

Five days after the deadly wildfires in Eucalyptus Plantations Pedrógão Grande in central Portugal claimed 64 lives, two leading forestry campaigning organisations, Quercus (based in Lisbon, Portugal) and Fern (based in Brussels, Belgium), call on the EU to examine how their policies and subsidies have driven the Portuguese plantation model.

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PDF iconPortugal climate fire_final.pdf362.46 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.

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