CEPF favours keeping LULUCF as a separate pillar in the climate and energy framework and to allow for a certain flexibility towards the Effort Sharing Decision. This would allow for taking the specific character of the forest sector into account, while creating an incentive for action in the LULUCF sector.
In the position paper (see below) CEPF calls on the EU policy makers to, in line with the Paris Agreement, recognise the importance of active sustainable forest management, which together with use of wood-based products and energy, achieves the largest sustained climate change mitigation and adaptation in the long term. Carbon sequestration rates are maintained in growing forests, carbon is stored in products, and renewable wood and biomass substitutes fossil fuels and energy-intensive materials, promoting the shift to the bioeconomy and a fossil free society. And, at the same time, through active management, forest resilience to climate change and disturbances can be enhanced.
In the EU, a correlation between using the forest and having a large forest carbon sink can be seen and there is significant potential to sustainably increase harvest levels and thereby increase the climate change mitigation potential. Misconceptions, like thinking that the best for the climate is to leave the forest standing as a ‘carbon museum’, risks undermining the EU’s potential to reach the targets of the Paris Agreement. Conserving carbon in ageing forest ecosystems will inevitably lead to a shrinking carbon sequestration capacity.
The position paper concludes that in synergy with sustainably managing and using forests, the significant contribution of the forest sector to the economic well-being and growth of many European regions, providing jobs and income to millions of EU citizens, particularly in rural areas, can be ensured and increased. To make this happen, supportive policy framework conditions are needed and the millions of private forest owners, which own and take care of about 60% of EUs forests, should be well recognised as key partners in this policy.