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Copa and Cogeca call on MEPs for positive outcome for EU agriculture and forestry sectors

Copa and Cogeca urge MEPs to ensure a positive outcome for the EU agriculture and forestry sectors when they vote later this week on the draft report by MEP Norbert Lins on the Regulation on Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF).

Energy wood from a hardwood thinning on a farm in Sweden.

On July 11, European Union (EU) Environment Committee (ENVI) MEPs backed a legislative proposal, under which EU countries that cut down forests must compensate the resulting emissions by new planting or by improved management of existing forests, croplands, and grasslands, to ensure an equivalent absorption of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, the carbon sink.

The legislative proposal, which is part of the climate package presented by the European Commission in July 2016, proposes to integrate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals from land use, land use-change and forestry (LULUCF) into the 2030 climate and energy framework.

Ahead of the MEP plenary session vote due to take place in Strasbourg, France later this week, Copa and Cogeca, an organisation that represents farmers and their cooperatives in the European Union (EU) urge MEPs to ensure a positive outcome for the EU agriculture and forestry sectors when they vote on the draft report by MEP Norbert Lins on the LULUCF regulation.

EU forests absorb the equivalent of nearly 10 percent of total EU greenhouse gas emissions each year so it is important to ensure that they remain viable if we are to fight climate change. The way to do this and to keep forests growing healthily is to manage them sustainably without unnecessary and arbitrary restrictions vis a vis the intensity, said Copa and Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen.

Pesonen noted that “indications of a positive compromise text” in the report had been seen and agreed by various political groups.

It should help to ensure present and future investments in the forest sector, as well as move towards the Paris Agreement goals. It is crucial since all Member States face serious challenges with their forests as we have seen this Summer with forest fires and the extreme weather events. We need to be able to manage forests for the future and not for the past if we want to address the present and future challenges, he said.

The vote is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, September 13.

We consequently urge MEPs to vote positively September 13 and support the amendment that deletes the unnecessary restriction vis a vis forest harvest ‘intensity’ from Article 8.3 in order to make sure that we can continue to have a flourishing sector as agriculture and forestry are together part of the solution in fighting climate change. They are the only sectors that remove emissions from the atmosphere, Pesonen stressed.

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