EU Carbon Accounting System to Measure Forest Impacts on GHG Emissions
Photo by Luis Del Río Camacho
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The new accounting system calculates the effect of forests on GHG mitigation by using factual evidence rather than forecasts of projected future policy impacts, as previous systems have done.

The EU is expected to use this new system to measure the contribution of the LULUCF sector in its climate strategy.

2 August 2018: The European Union (EU) has adopted a carbon-based accounting system for measuring how forest management practices can help mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The EU will use the approach as the scientific basis for integrating the land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector in its climate strategy.

The new accounting system calculates the effect of forests on GHG mitigation by using factual evidence rather than forecasts of projected future policy impacts, an approach implemented under the Kyoto Protocol. This change addresses challenges with previous reporting systems, which used forest reference levels that included assumed effects of future policy impacts, resulting in unverifiable estimates based on counterfactual scenarios. The EU’s new system uses a fact-based carbon accounting system that sets reference levels based on documented historical forest management practices rather than projected future policy impacts.

The EU is expected to use the new accounting system as part of its recent Regulation on LULUCF for 2021-2030.

The carbon-based accounting system projects that the EU forest harvest levels will increase by 12 percent by 2030. These increases are expected to be at a slower rate than previously predicted using forecasts based on the Kyoto Protocol method because the new system takes into account age-related dynamics.

The EU is expected to use this new accounting system as part of its recent EU Regulation on Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry for 2021-2030, which it published on 10 June 2018. The regulation outlines rules and commitments for including GHG emissions and removals from the LULUCF sector in the framework of the EU’s 2030 climate and energy targets. [European Commission Press Release] [EU Regulation on Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry for 2021-2030] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on EU Enhancing NDC with New Renewables and Energy Efficiency Targets]

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