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Forests and climate: Press Releases

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 forests will play in reaching the Paris Agreement’s target of limiting global temperatures to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

The Committee’s report changes the period for the forest management reference level from 1990-2009 to 2000-2012. This change to the European Commission text means that the increased harvesting of forests for bioenergy - which recent research shows has already led to a reduction of the carbon sink of EU forests - will not be properly accounted for. 

The report will now go before plenary in the Autumn.

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.

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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PDF iconFinland PR_final.pdf481.6 KB

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'

 

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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.

DocumentSize
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.

Pages