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LULUCF discussed in European Parliament

15 March 2016

The European Parliament hosted an event organised by Fern on 16 February on how best to tackle land use and forests in the EU’s climate and energy package.

Panellists from the European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) and Fern discussed the opportunities and threats of integrating this sector into the EU’s climate regime, and provided markers to help steer the European Commission as it puts the finishing touches to its proposal, due before summer.

Peter Wehrheim, Head of the Climate Finance and Deforestation unit at DG Climate Action, gave a clear overview of where the Commission stood in its deliberations and touched on some of the open questions on how to integrate this sector further into climate policy.

Giacomo Grassi from the JRC, a LULUCF veteran, explained why LULUCF is so complex, proving to the audience of parliamentarians, Member States, industry and NGOs that this is for good reason.

Fern’s Hannah Mowat reflected on the complexity of the forest carbon cycle, which has led to the myth that forests can offset fossil fuel emissions; she warned against reducing carbon-cutting ambition in other sectors and urged that any action in the LULUCF sector be additional.

Finally, David Baldock of the IEEP highlighted the latest research carried out by Fern and the IEEP on how to design a separate LULUCF pillar. He asked stakeholders to take care when invoking ‘food security’ in Europe; the term is often misused: Europe does not have a problem of food security and food produced here will not solve global food insecurity.

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