European Strategic Long-term Vision for Climate Neutral Economy Published
On 28 November 2018, the European Commission published its strategy entitled “A Clean Planet for all A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy” to confirm Europe's commitment to lead in global climate action. The strategy presents the EU’s vision that can lead to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. By then the world will have a 30% higher population compared to today, with a changing climate affecting ecosystems and global land use.

CEPF welcomes the proposed strategy to set the path ways of EU climate and energy policy, and to frame what the EU considers as its long-term contribution to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement in line with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The proposed Strategy itself does not intend to launch new policies, nor does the European Commission intend to revise 2030 targets of the Energy Union.

The strategy outlines ways of achieving emission reduction targets, in which the circular bioeconomy and carbon sinks play an essential position. The transition towards a net-zero greenhouse gas economy gives energy a central role as it is today responsible for more than 75% of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions. In all options analysed, the energy system moves towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. It relies on a secure and sustainable energy supply underpinned by a market-based and pan-European approach. In addition, new materials will play an important role as well, whether rediscovering traditional uses such as wood in construction, or new composites replacing energy intensive materials.

From forest owners’ perspective, it is positive that the strategy acknowledges that the sustainable biomass production plays an important role in achieving climate and energy goals. It is crucial that the forests are not solely seen as a way of offsetting other sectors’ emissions. Forests and sustainable forest management contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation in three different ways, by enhancing CO2 sequestration, carbon storage in forests and in forest-based products as well as via substitution of fossil-based raw materials by renewable ones. Further mobilisation of sustainable domestic forest resources is key in the transition towards fossil-free societies.

The European Parliament Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee is the responsible Committee for the dossier. Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) Committees are designated to provide the ENVI Committee with an Opinion on the strategy.


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