Climate Action

European Commission today announces recommendations for EU Member States’ forestry plans


In order to estimate how much European forests contribute to our EU 2030 climate targets by removing CO2 from the atmosphere, the LULUCF Regulation required Member States to submit National Forestry Accounting Plans.

These contain a proposed “Forest Reference Level”, which acts as a baseline for future greenhouse gas emissions and removals from managed forest land.

The technical recommendations published by the Commission today are based on an assessment of these national plans, carried out by an expert group composed of Member States representatives, technical specialists, NGOs and research organisations.

Setting this reference level is vital for properly accounting for greenhouse gas emissions and removals from managed forest land covered by the EU LULUCF (land use, land use change and forestry) Regulation.

This is particularly important because sustainable biomass from forestry is expected to make a significant contribution to the development of the bioeconomy. The LULUCF Regulation incentivises the enhanced use of long-lived wood products to replace other more polluting materials. It also ensures that the use of biomass as a source of energy, which can help Member States achieve their renewable energy commitments, contributes to our climate targets by properly accounting for the related greenhouse gas emissions. 

Next steps:

These recommendations will form the basis for the revision of Member States’ forest reference levels, which are to be submitted by 31 December 2019.

The Commission will then adopt delegated acts containing the final forest reference levels for the period 2021 and 2025 by 31 October 2020.

For more information: