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Commission launches public consultation on whether to include land use and forestry in EU 2020 greenhouse gas emissions target


The European Commission today launched a public consultation on whether emissions and removals of greenhouse gases (GHG) related to land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) should be covered by the EU's target of cutting GHG emissions to 20%, or, if the conditions are right, to 30% below 1990 levels by 2020. The LULUCF sector comprises, for example, trees, other living biomass and organic soil carbon, all of which can either absorb CO2 from the atmosphere or emit it to a varying extent, depending on how they are managed and other factors. The sector was estimated to be responsible for net removals of GHG from the atmosphere of around 410 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent in the EU-27 in 2008, or some 8% of the EU's total emissions. However, the picture varies between Member States, with LULUCF causing large net removals in some and small net removals or even net emissions in others. The sector is currently not part of the 2020 target, but the climate and energy package adopted last year requires the Commission to assess ways of counting LULUCF towards the EU's reduction commitment and, depending on its findings, to make a legislative proposal. The public consultation aims to gather views from stakeholders and the public on the potential opportunities and challenges of including LULUCF in the emissions target and on ways this could be done. The consultation, which runs until 5 November, takes the form of an online questionnaire. The questionnaire is accompanied by a background note on LULUCF. Both are posted online at

Last update: 21/03/2014 | Top