31 March 2023

The new regulation sets an overall EU-level objective of 310 Mt CO2 equivalent of net removals in the LULUCF sector in 2030. Each country has their own carbon removal target to be reached by 2030. As the EU-level carbon removal target is very ambitious, due to changing climate conditions the target might be challenging to reach in some countries without reducing harvesting levels.

Decreasing harvesting levels could have negative impacts on delivering sustainable, wood-based raw materials for bioeconomy purposes, as well as forest owners’ commitments to contribute to timely management practices which are needed to maintain the forests’ good condition and carbon accumulation also after 2030.

On a positive note the institutions decided not to combine the emissions from agriculture with forestry (AFOLU sector) which could have led in forest sector offsetting other sectors’ emissions.

From forest owners’ perspective it is promising that the EU is willing to expand categories of the HWP (Harvested Wood Products) and include new wood categories to the LULUCF accounting. Nevertheless, it still remains unclear which products would be addressed in the future and how much the scope of the possible additions would be limited. The scope of these products should not be narrowed down too much since all wood-based materials are key to substitute fossil products.

Commission proposal