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Forests and climate

Fern’s aim is for an EU climate policy that halts deforestation, restores forests AND reduces fossil fuel emissions

Fern’s analysis: Forests store vast amounts of carbon. Protecting and restoring forests can help keep global temperature rises to well below 2o Celsius (aiming for 1.5 o Celsius), the goal agreed at the United Nations’ climate negotiations in Paris. But instead of protecting forests, we are clearing and degrading them, while draining carbon-rich peatlands in tropical regions. Ten per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions are released into the atmosphere as a result of deforestation. It is simply not possible to continue this destruction and achieve the targets outlined in the Paris Agreement.

In many regions, including Europe, forests are heavily degraded and under threat. Restoring them would increase their capacity to absorb carbon dioxide and give us a greater chance of limiting global temperature increases.

Evidence shows that forest restoration, done with the consent and full involvement of local communities is positive for forests, people and the climate if done as well as, and not instead of reducing fossil fuel emissions. ‘Offsetting’, where protecting forests is used as an excuse to burn more fossil fuels will do nothing to reduce the dangers of climate change. For that reason and many others, Fern has long campaigned against carbon trading. To keep average global temperature rises to well below 2o Celsius the EU, as a wealthy industrial region, must reduce emissions (from fossil fuel use and forest loss) to zero well before 2050, while ensuring the restoration of degraded forests within the EU and globally.

What Fern is doing: Fern is working with NGOs, policy makers and scientists to ensure EU forest and climate policies respect the rights of forest peoples and protect and restore forests.

To learn more about this campaign read Misleading Numbers, The Case for Separating Land and Fossil Based Carbon Emissions

 

Most recent publications

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.
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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.

LULUCF an introduction

Have you heard of LULUCF? Do you know what it means? Watch this clear and informative video to understand what Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry is about. this video explains why forests can not be used as an excuse to avoid reducing emissions from agriculture, transports and buildings.

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:

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