Land Use Change & Forestry (LULUCF)

European Panel FederationClimate & EnergyLand Use Change & Forestry (LULUCF)

Land Use, Land Use Change & Forestry (LULUCF)

As part of the Fit for 55 package, the Commission published on 14 July 2021 its Communication on the Revision of the Regulation on the inclusion of greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) (COM(2021 554) and its Communication on the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) (COM(2021) 555). The Commission is proposing to revise LULUCF aiming at providing more incentives for Member States to grow and improve their natural carbon sinks in line with the European Climate Law. The Commission proposes therefore to move towards a more integrated policy framework covering activities related to agriculture, forestry, and land use (AFOLU), under one climate policy tool beyond 2030.

The Commission is proposing to put in place binding targets for Member States to increase their net carbon removals in the land use and forestry sector for the period from 2026 to 2030 and to significantly simplify compliance rules. The new EU-wide target will add up to net carbon removals of -310 Mt of CO2 equivalent in the Union for 2030, an increase of about 15% compared to today.

The Commission proposals recalls that higher targets for carbon removals will promote a shift towards more sustainable, long-lasting and circular uses of natural resources, leading to jobs and growth in this sector. The storage of carbon in long-lasting wood products – like construction material or furniture – will be favoured through the biomass cascading principle rewarded and counted towards the national carbon removal targets. According to the Commission, emissions of biomass used in energy will be recorded and accounted towards each Member State’s 2030 climate commitments, through the correct application of accounting in LULUCF.

The proposal introduces a more explicit pathway towards new products (construction/furniture materials and others) and re-direct the sense of the Article 9 to act as a chapeau for carbon removal/farming certification, encapsulating harvested wood products as one such example. In this respect, an improved incentive framework (Delegated Act) for the storage of carbon in long-lasting and circular use wood products, is proposed.