European Parliament adopts binding targets to increase carbon sinks
Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF)
Today, Members of the European Parliament have adopted the final outcome of the regulation for Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF).The new 2030 targets for the LULUCF sector will oblige Member States to put in place reforms to reverse the current shrinkage of our natural land sinks. These reforms must also decrease the use of intensive agricultural practices which damage biodiversity and jeopardise the capacity of forests and soils to absorb carbon. As lead negotiators on this file, the Greens/EFA managed to get Member States to agree to report on how they take into account the principle to “do no significant harm” when adopting policies and measures to meet their LULUCF target. These reforms are ultimately necessary to achieve a balance between emissions and removals by 2050 at the latest within the Union.
Ville Niinistö MEP, European Parliament rapporteur on the LULUCF regulation, comments:
“This LULUCF regulation is about changing the way we use land to be a climate solution instead of contributing to climate change and deterioration of biodiversity. The agreement with the Council on the legislative text is an improvement from the initial proposal by the European Commission. For the first time, we have agreement on the principle that the European Union should increase its sinks, with a binding 2030 target for each Member State. This regulation starts the change for the future. It emphasises the need to further increase our sinks to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 in the EU at the latest and carbon negativity beyond that.
“The new 2030 target for the LULUCF sector will oblige Member States to reverse the current shrinkage of natural land sinks. Member States will also have to report on how they took into account the do no significant harm principle when adopting policies and measures to meet their LULUCF target. Also, biodiversity monitoring is strengthened, which means better integration of climate and biodiversity action. As part of the deal, we have negotiated that the Commission should provide guidance for Member States to ensure that the implementation of the Regulation results in a socially fair transition.
“Still, trilogues were not easy. The Council wanted to increase even further flexibilities given to Member States for achieving their targets. But, for the first time we ensure that the LULUCF Regulation is not just an accounting framework, but that we start also assessing what kind of policies Member States put in place to manage their carbon sinks.”