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Projecting the EU forest carbon net emissions in line with the “continuation of forest management”: the JRC method

In July 2016, the Commission adopted a legal proposal (COM(2016) 479) for the inclusion of Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) in the EU 2030 energy and climate targets. In this proposal, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals from Managed Forest Land in EU Member States will be accounted using the concept of Forest Reference Level (FRL), for the compliance period 2021 to 2030. The FRL is a country-specific projected baseline of future forest emissions and removals, against which the actual reported emissions and removals will be compared for accounting purposes at the time of compliance. According to the legal proposal, FRLs will be estimated based on the concept of the “continuation of current forest management practice and intensity”, as documented in a historical Reference Period (RP). This approach aims to promote an active forest management while ensuring that all the emissions and removals associated with changes in forest policies are fully reflected in the accounting in a transparent and credible way. This technical report illustrates the method, as applied by the JRC, to trial projections of forest GHG emissions and removals in line with the proposal, and presents key results aggregated at EU level.