On 24 January the EU Parliament Environment Public health and Safety Committee (ENVI) voted on the Proposal on the "Inclusion of greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land use, land use change and forestry into the 2030 climate and energy framework (LULUCF)".
In particula, the Committee voted in favour of the provisional agreement resulting from interinstitutional negotiations with 53 votes to 6, and 1 abstention. This compromised text on LULUCF explicitly recognises the role of wood products including the corralled substitution effect and propose a reasonable approach concerning the forest reference level. As reported:
- The increased sustainable use of harvested wood products can substantially limit emissions by the substitution effect and enhance removals of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The accounting rules should ensure that Member States accurately and transparently reflect in accounts the changes in the harvested wood products pool when they take place, in order to recognise and incentivise the enhanced use of harvested wood products with long life cycles.
Source: The European Parliament: “Forest management should continue to be active and sustainable in the future, as this is the only way to ensure that it has a positive impact on ecology and the economy” said rapporteur Norbert Lins (EPP, DE). “We have found a credible balance between flexibility and comparable accounting rules for the 28 member states. Having the countries in charge of this issue will ensure that the principle of subsidiarity is fully respected. In addition, these requirements relate exclusively to member states and will not bind or restrict owners”, he added.
The proposed law would lay down rules under which EU countries have to ensure that CO2 emissions are balanced by CO2 absorption by forests, croplands and grasslands. MEPs ensured that managed wetlands will also be included in the accounting system, given that they, too, store important quantities of CO2. The Members of the EU parliament bolstered these provisions by adding that from 2030, member states should boost CO2 absorption to exceed emissions, in line with the EU’s long-term objectives and the Paris Agreement.
Next steps: The LULUCF file will be put to a vote by the full House at the February plenary session in Strasbourg.