Regulation (EU) 2018/841, adopted in May 2018, requires the Member States to ensure that greenhouse gas emissions from land use, land use change and forestry are balanced by at least an equivalent accounted removal of CO2 from the atmosphere in the period from 2021 to 2030.
Article 8 of the Regulation establishes the process and the requirements for the submission of National Forestry Accounting Plans containing the proposed Forest Reference Levels (FRL), to account for this balance in forests.
This process began in 2018 with a series of consultations, development of guidance documentation, and the submission by all Member States of a draft National Forestry Accounting Plan and FRL. These draft submissions were assessed in 2019 by an expert group (including Member States, independent experts, and various stakeholders including NGOs). In response to this, the Commission made technical recommendations in SWD(2019)213 (June 2019).
The LULUCF Regulation Art 8(7) also requires Member States to submit revised Plans and, if necessary, recalculate the Forest Reference Level (FRL), taking into account the expert group and the Commission’s recommendations.
In accordance with Article 8(7), the Commission has published a table of the revised, proposed Forest Reference Levels communicated to it by Member States.
The Commission is currently reviewing the revised plans and FRLs presented in the table, with a view to adopting these in law (delegated act) before end October 2020. In accordance with Article 8(8) and 8(9) of the LULUCF Regulation, the Commission may lay down Forest Reference Levels different from those proposed by Member States. The Commission proposal for the delegated act will be presented to the Commission expert group on Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) (E03638), foreseen for early May 2020.