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Forests and climate: Press Releases

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.

Concretely, this means that the climate will be spared 90 million tons of CO2, almost equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of Belgium.

The Environment Committee was also adamant that the Commission should first check the quality of offsets produced by the forestry sector before they could be used. This is wise given that, in a simultaneous vote, two other parliamentary committees (the Agriculture Committee (AGRI) and the Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE)) took the highly retrograde step of voting in favour of dishonest carbon accounting rules.

If these rules are applied, it will mean that any emissions resulting from more harvesting of trees will not be accounted for.

‘Climate heroes’ lobby for forest rules that could break the Paris Agreement

The fight against global warming is being threatened by countries renowned for their green credentials, according to the new website www.LULUCF.org set up by a group of environmental NGOs. The website ranks the 28 EU member countries’ individual proposals for measuring their forest and land emissions - and reveals the impact they will have on EU efforts to keep global temperature increases below 1.5 degrees Celsius. Normally climate friendly countries - including France, Finland, Sweden and Austria - are shown to be trying to weaken EU rules on emissions from land and forests. They plan to significantly increase the amount of trees they cut in the next decade and are looking for ways to hide the associated emissions.

Go to www.LULUCF.org to find out how your country ranks and read our Press Release to find out more.

Climate and the Sámi people threatened as Finland attempts to hide its forest emissions

Finland’s industrial logging is already threatening the climate and its indigenous Sámi people, and yet last year the Finnish government confirmed its intention to increase harvesting the country’s forests by nearly 25 per cent  from present levels by the year 2030. The carbon dioxide released from the logging will be vast. 

This press release launches Fern's research Arctic Limits: How Finland’s forest policies threaten the Sámi and the climate, timed to input into European Parliament and European Council discussions on a new regulation on emissions from the forests and land use sector, known as LULUCF.

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Aviation sector threatens to undermine Paris Agreement

This press release explains why the aviation sector’s plan for tackling its greenhouse gas emissions would have disastrous consequences for the climate.

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PDF iconPRESS STATEMENT ICAO.pdf477.83 KB

Fern reaction to Commission's proposal for LULUCF regulation

Commission’s forest proposal weakens EU Paris climate commitment

The European Union’s fight against climate change has been undermined by new proposals for tackling emissions from land and forests. The proposals outlined today by the European Commission for integrating emissions from land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) into its climate and energy package, will allow Member States to emit more, bringing the EU’s headline ‘at least 40 per cent’ reduction target down to less than 39 per cent, when all loopholes are accounted for.More information about the impact of this proposal, see our video 'Introducing LULUCF'

 

UK referendum must not derail EU climate policy

Brussels- based green NGOs, including Fern, have urged the European Commission to push on with its 2030 climate legislation - despite the uncertainty in the wake of the UK referendum result. 

EU land and forests can help EU be more ambitious on climate, new study shows

As the ratification process for the Paris Agreement begins, a new study shows how the EU’s new policy on land and forests could help the EU be more ambitious given the Commission’s reluctance to increase climate targets.

In the study, the Oeko-Institut and forest and rights NGO Fern suggest the EU could set a positive precedent for international climate policy if they developed a separate pillar with its own target for the so called ‘LULUCF’ sector.

LULUCF covers land use, land-use change and forests and is one of the most hotly debated topics of the EU’s climate and energy package. The European Commission will shortly publish a proposal for how to integrate LULUCF in the climate package

The new ambitious temperature target in the Paris Agreement also means that more must be done to protect and restore forests and land that store CO2. At the same time, the EU must do much more to cut greenhouse gases.

Hannes Boettcher lead author of the study said: “LULUCF is at a crossroads – depending on how rules are set and where it is integrated in the overall package, it could either increase or decrease the EU’s greenhouse gas target. In this study, we suggest developing a separate pillar with specific criteria the EU could use to design a meaningful target to incentivise better climate performance in LULUCF.”

Creating a separate pillar would prevent the EU from using temporary carbon removals from forests and land to dilute the Effort Sharing Decision. Previous research from the Oeko-Institut had shown that adding LULUCF to the Effort Sharing Decision could weaken it by up to 65 per cent.

Fern’s forest and climate campaigner, Hannah Mowat, welcomes this research: “As every year is hotter than the last, Fern believes we need action on all fronts, reducing emissions and restoring degraded landscapes. Our policies need to reflect that. This needs to be done with and by local communities who are affected by land use decisions and have the right to be involved.”

This research complements other reports released this week that look into how the EU can increase climate ambition in the short term, such as by increasing the energy efficiency target or safeguarding the integrity of the Effort Sharing Decision to focus exclusively emissions reductions.

ENDS

 

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Most recent publications

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.

‘Climate heroes’ lobby for forest rules that could break the Paris Agreement

The fight against global warming is being threatened by countries renowned for their green credentials, according to the new website www.LULUCF.org set up by a group of environmental NGOs.

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.

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.

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PDF iconArctic Limits_Final.pdf1.77 MB

Blog: Analysis of draft LULUCF reports

By Hannah Mowat

The recently-published draft reports of the Land Use Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) regulation give an indication of which direction the different committees’ rapporteurs would like to take the file. Here we offer a quick overview of the main highlights and lowlights:

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