ITRE Opinion: Revision of the Regulation on Land Use, Forestry and Agriculture (LULUCF)

Source:EP- ITRE – Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

Background: The revision of the LULUCF Regulation aims to create stronger policy incentives to reduce land emissions, enhance the substitution of fossil-based materials and increase the land-based sinks in the land-use sector. It was announced on 19 October 2020 as part of the Commission’s 2021 Work Programme on Environment and adopted by the Commission under the 'Fit for 55 Package' alongside. This proposal will play a key role in the implementation of the Climate Law as the Commission committed to increasing EU carbon sinks to levels above 300 million tons CO2eq by 2030. Hence, the Commission proposed to increase the net removal target of the LULUCF Regulation by 15%. To reach this target, the revision will amend the scope of the Regulation to include the agriculture sector, aligning the LULUCF reporting with the UNFCCC guidelines. It will also support emergent business models regarding carbon sequestration and carbon farming by an in-depth revision of article 9. Other changes will target the levels of flexibilities, the banking of surpluses by the Member States or the monitoring mechanisms set under Regulation (EU) 2018/1999.

Extract: The Rapporteur welcomes the Commission's proposal and believes that the move from reference levels to reported greenhouse gas emissions and removals will simplify the accounting processes and lead to improved data transparency and availability. The Member States should be further encouraged to improve methodologies for measuring carbon flows, including calculation of substitution effects. Improvements in methodologies should be reflected in the assessment of target fulfilment. Especially with regard to agricultural emissions, more research investments are needed to identify the most sustainable agricultural practices and the most cost-efficient ways to monitor and report emissions and removals from the sector. Overall, for ensuring proper implementation of the LULUCF rules and avoiding unnecessary regulatory burden, the scope of the Regulation should remain as an accounting framework for carbon emissions and removals.

=> The construction sector has the potential to use forestry products in large quantities and store carbon for many decades. Thus, measures should be taken to further encourage wood as a construction material and also to ensure that the resulting uptake of emissions is accounted for in the total emissions balance of the Member State in question.

Download the Opinion: HERE

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