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Agricultural commodity consumption in the EU - Palm Oil

An area of forest the size of Portugal was lost globally between 2010 and 2015 because of EU consumption of commodities grown on deforested land, much of it illegal. Such destruction often violates the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples, causes massive biodiversity loss, and contributes to climate change. Fern is calling for an EU Action Plan to ensure imports of forest-risk commodities are legally sourced and ecologically viable.

This briefing note, the first in a series, focusses on Palm Oil.

It will be of particular interest to journalists and those looking for an introduction to the topic.

How to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals? Focus on forests

In September 2015, world governments adopted an Agenda for Sustainable Development with 17 universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. The aims are noble and daunting – end all forms of poverty, fight inequality, address climate change, and ensure that no one is left behind.

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PDF icon Focus on forests.pdf401.04 KB

Improving forest governance in Laos

In 2012, the Lao government expressed interest in negotiating a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the European Union to address illegal logging trade and to improve forest governance.

A dangerous delusion: Debunking the myths around sustainable forests and the EU’s bioenergy policy

A Dangerous Delusion exposes the myth that problems don’t exist with biomass from Europe’s forests – where the EU sources most of its biomass – because they are managed sustainably. It includes case studies on Sweden, Romania, Germany and Latvia, underlining the huge disparity in the way forests are managed across Europe.

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PDF icon Dangerous Delusions2.6 MB

Burning trees for energy is no solution to climate change

This briefing note outlines why using wood to produce renewable electricity and heat can increase carbon dioxide emissions. It explains what is wrong with the assumption that all biomass use for energy is ‘carbon-neutral’ and why the increasing scale at which biomass is used can reduce forests’ ability to be a sink for carbon.

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PDF icon climate and bioenergy final.pdf751.84 KB

Cheating the climate: the problems with aviation industry plans to offset emissions

The UN Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas does not cover emissions from international aviation. These are regulated by the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which has been tasked with adopting a proposal to tackle emissions from international aviation.

A new sustainable bioenergy policy

The European Commission has announced that it will propose a new and improved bioenergy sustainability policy for the use of biomass in heating, electricity and transport as part of its Climate and Energy Package for 2030.

Why LULUCF cannot ensure that bioenergy reduces emissions

The European Commission is currently reviewing the sustainability of uses and sources of bioenergy for the period after 2020. They will also propose a new policy on how to include the land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector in the EU’s 2030 climate and energy framework. This briefing note presents the problems of relying on LULUCF to ensure bioenergy reduces carbon emissions.

LULUCF: what would a good proposal look like?

As the ratification process for the Paris Climate Agreement begins, a new Fern briefing has shown how the EU’s new policy on land and forests could help it to be more ambitious on its climate change targets, and set a positive precedent globally by developing a separate pillar - with its own target - for the so-called LULUCF sector.

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PDF icon LULUCF1.18 MB

What role should land and forests play in the Paris agreement?

A new briefing paper issued at the start of the Paris climate talks says that restoring degraded forests can meet the world’s need to remove emissions from the atmosphere, if fossil fuel emissions are simultaneously brought to zero by 2050, and that forest communities should play a central role in this restoration. The briefing, co-written by Fern with the Rainforest Foundation Norway and Friends of the Earth Norway, also rejects the need for dangerous carbon dioxide removal such as Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) and large-scale plantations.

Read our press release on this briefing here.

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