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Council tackles land-use, land-use change and forestry in the EU

For countries outside the EU it sometimes feels like the EU only looks across its borders to tackle land-use, land-use change and forestry. The Council envisages to agreeing a negotiating position on land-use, land-use change and forestry in the EU before the end of the year.  This compromise is needed to achieve the EU 2030 emissions reduction target:

“We have made significant progress during the Maltese presidency on the non-ETS files. I believe we are not so far from reaching an agreement, but we need some more efforts from member states. Now, more than ever, it is important to focus on the EU 2030 emissions reduction target. Delivering on our shared commitment is our joint responsibility. I am confident that a compromise can be reached during the Estonian presidency”.

Dr Jose A. Herrera, Minister for sustainable development, environment and climate change of Malta

On June 7, 2017, the Council held a debate on the two legislative proposals to cut emissions in sectors not covered by the emissions trading scheme: the effort-sharing regulation and the regulation on land-use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) in the EU.

Ministers assessed progress so far and shared their views on the key outstanding issues of the proposals, focusing on the addition of a new safety reserve in the effort-sharing regulation and setting forest reference levels in the LULUCF regulation.

Delegations provided “valuable political guidance on the way forward” on these two aspects with a view to reaching a general approach ahead of the forthcoming COP 23.

On the LULUCF regulation, some member states were in favor of the presidency’s proposal to set national forest reference levels based on a historical reference period from 2000 to 2009 but also to include a national threshold in order to provide more flexibility for those forest rich member states.

Non-ETS sectors are part of the EU’s main tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to deliver on the EU’s commitments under the Paris Agreement. See the Non-ETS sectors – Progress report for more information on this.

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