Bird Life International respond to European Commission’s LULUCF vote

Bird Life International has responded to the recent European Parliament vote on LULUCF (the land use, land use change and forestry sector), stating: “We’re not out of the woods yet”.

As the European Commission works on a climate and energy package for 2030, it is currently reviewing the sustainability of all uses and sources of bioenergy for the period after 2020. The Commission is also set to propose a new policy on how to include the LULUCF sector in the EU’s 2030 climate and energy framework.

Although welcoming the European Parliament’s increased recognition in the recent vote of the important role that forests play, Bird Life, an international nature conservation partnership, stressed there was still a long way to go.

“The outcome of today’s vote in the Parliament did not improve the Commission’s proposal, but the final level of ambition is now in the hands of the Council,” said John Lanchbery, principal climate change advisor at RSPB. “Countries defending transparent and honest accounting of forestry emissions like Germany, the UK and Italy need to stay firm with countries like Sweden, Finland and Austria that are actively trying to water down the credibility of LULUCF. Any compromises are likely to hide emissions from increased forest cutting and to undermine the whole EU’s position on climate change.”

Sini Eräjää, EU Bioenergy Policy Officer, BirdLife Europe & Central Asia, said: “Harvesting of the EU’s forests is increasing in the name of the bioeconomy and bioenergy policies, with already 75 million cubic meters more wood cut every year for energy since the EU’s renewable energy policy. This lowers the capacity of our forests to store carbon. As the saying goes, “we’re not out of the woods yet” – as other EU institutions push the LULUCF proposal further in a direction that allows emissions from increased forest bioenergy use to go “missing in action”, the Commission’s approach to bioenergy emissions further loses ground and should be revisited.”


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