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EU forests and the forest sector in the climate mitigation targets: facing new challenges
It is estimated that EU forests and the forest sector currently produce an overall climate mitigation impact that amounts to about 13% of the total EU emissions. Now that the EU has set targets of -40% emission reduction by 2030, every sector has to play a role. I estimate that the role of EU forests and forest sector could be strengthened up to 20% of total EU emissions. However, in order to achieve this ‘Climate Smart Forestry‘ (CSF) needs to be developed, incentivized and implemented.
Climate Smart Forestry builds on the great variety in regional climate, forest resources, the forest sector and its importance for the national economy. CSF is a challenge but also a great opportunity for Member States as they vary in how they deal with their forest resource and the associated demands and uses. But there is a good correlation between achieving a carbon sink on the one hand, and providing wood products and energy on the other.
Therefore, sustainable adaptation and mitigation of climate change should be mainstreamed in forestry policy and forest management in Europe, with specific attention paid to regional circumstances, opportunities and challenges. A wide variety of policy measures tailored to these regional circumstances can be implemented – and as much as possible these measures should be in synergy with other policy targets for the EU forest sector, such as developing the bioeconomy and preserving biodiversity.
I will go into
above stated questions and challenges and how policy makers, industry, forest
owners and NGOs can make such a significant change to European forests.