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11 Jul.2017

Reaction by Sylvain Lhôte, Director General at CEPI to ENVI (Environment) Committee vote on LULUCF

“The ENVI committee has missed the logic that LULUCF should focus on growing forest through investment rather arbitrarily capping its use as a resource. Freezing, over the next decade, the use of growing forestry will endanger the carbon sink Europe needs in 2050 and beyond” says, Sylvain Lhôte, Director General at the Confederation of Europe Paper Industries.

For press related enquiries please contact Ben Kennard, Press Officer at b.kennard@cepi.org or by phone at (+32) 487 39 21 82

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11 Jul.2017 ,

LULUCF: Forestry, paper and agri-sectors team up in favor of a dynamic forest reference level

The Environment Committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament today adopted the draft report of the Committee’s Rapporteur, MEP Norbert Lins, on the regulation of Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF). The policy is of utmost importance for the forest and agricultural sectors as it defines the climate benefits of forest management and the use of wood.

A key element of the regulation is how to account for emissions and removals from forests. As a part of the 2030 Climate and Energy Framework, the European Commission proposed new EU LULUCF accounting rules for forests using a “Forest Reference Level” based on past (1990-2009) management practices and intensity.

Today, the ENVI Committee decided to continue this approach by voting in favor of a compromise to compare forest management intensity in 2020-2030 to the historical period of 2000-2012.

The approach of comparing future forest use to historical management intensity has been heavily criticized by the forest and agricultural sectors. The latter point to the fact that, in order to take advantage of the full potential of long-term benefits from sustainably managed forests and harvested wood products as regards climate change mitigation and adaptation, Forest Reference Levels must take into consideration the most recent data on forest resources and relevant policies. While the efforts made by the EP Committee are to be acknowledged, substantial work is still needed to improve the proposal.

We should not penalize countries that did not use the full sustainable potential of their forests in the past. Member States should be able to use their growing forests for developing a fossil-free bioeconomy and forest owners should be enabled to continue investing in sustainable forest management – the best long-term strategy to maintain the carbon sink and ensure the climate benefits of forests,” says Emma Berglund, Secretary General of CEPF.

Forest resources are growing in Europe and we should promote the use of sustainably-sourced wood from European forests to reach the climate and energy targets and to develop a sustainable bioeconomy. In fact, the EU Forest Strategy calls for management, growth and the use of forests, and this goes far beyond just considering them as a carbon stock,” says Piotr Borkowski, Executive Director of EUSTAFOR.

A dynamic Forest Reference Level is essential for ensuring investments are made where it matters most: in sustainable forest management. Let’s keep Europe’s forests on a pro-growth trajectory that both maintains Europe’s forest carbon sink and unleashes the true potential of its bioeconomy,” says Sylvain Lhôte, Director General at CEPI.

"Use of wood from sustainably managed forests is THE key to concretely tackle climate change. European regulators must have the ambition to set a coherent and lively Forest Reference Level to maintain the forests carbon sink and ensure proper material availability that will allow the society to fully benefit from the carbon storage offered by Harvested Wood Products," says Patrizio Antonicoli, Secretary General of CEI-Bois.

We seriously regret the vote in the Environment Committee,” underlines the Chair of the Copa & Cogeca Environment Working Party, Liisa Pietola. “It is a loss for the rural community’s growth and jobs and the climate. Countries are suffering more and more from extreme weather events and forest fires, and this will penalise them further. We are the only sectors that remove emissions from the atmosphere. The opinion of the Agriculture Committee was completely ignored.”

The umbrella organizations of the forest, paper and agricultural sectors in Brussels urge all MEPs to look at the big picture concerning the climate change mitigation and adaptation of forestry. In the transition period from a fossil-based society, all outlets of forestry are needed and benefits should be examined in the long term.

EUSTAFOR, Copa and Cogeca, CEPF, CEPI and CEI-Bois remain confident that the upcoming discussions in the European Parliament and Council will have a positive impact on the further development of the proposal.


For further information, please contact:

Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF):
Secretary General, Emma Berglund - emma.berglund@cepf-eu.org

European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR):
Policy Advisor, Salvatore Martire: salvatore.martire@eustafor.eu
Communications Director, Juha Makinen: juha.makinen@eustafor.eu

European Farmers and European Agri-Cooperatives (Copa and Cogeca):
Senior Policy Advisor, Evangelos Koumentakos - Evangelos.Koumentakos@copa-cogeca.eu
Press Officer, Amanda Cheesley - Amanda.cheesley@copa-cogeca.eu

Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI):
Director General, Sylvain Lhôte - s.lhote@cepi.org
Press Officer, Ben Kennard – b.kennard@cepi.org

European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois):
Secretary General, Patrizio Antonicoli - patrizio.antonicoli@cei-bois.org
 

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22 Mar.2017 ,

Position Paper on LULUCF

CEPI position on the Commission proposal for a regulation on the inclusion of GHG emissions and removals from LULUCF into the 2030 climate and energy framework

Main Goal:

The main goal for the European pulp and paper industry in the debate on climate change and forestry is to work on a policy framework enabling the long term sustainable management of European forests. This is in line with the conclusions of chapter 9 of the 4th Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): “In the long term, a sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit.”

Main Concern:

The main concern of the European pulp and paper industry is that proposals for the inclusion of GHG emissions and removals from LULUCF focus on the 2030 horizon and forest sequestration. Meanwhile the potential of the other aspects of sustainable forest management such as the absorption of carbon by more dynamic forest management and storage and substitution of wood products replacing fossil based ones would not be sufficiently recognised and harvesting levels would be reduced.

The European pulp and paper industry is a key contributor to the bioeconomy. It uses wood from sustainably managed forests to produce renewable and recyclable products which substitute more carbon intentive products.. In addition, the European pulp and paper industry produces bioenergy with highly efficient combined heat and power generation. Further increasing the efficiency of the wood use, the industry is developing new products based on wood to grow the bioeconomy and even more substitute fossil based materials. The mitigation potential could be further improved by further supporting the growth of forests, dynamic forestry and the mobilisation of wood, the use of wood-based products, high value added products, the cascading use principle and strengthening innovation in new bio-based products.

Accurately accounting the emissions/removals from the sector is crucial to demonstrate that European forests and the use of its products have a positive contribution to climate change, as forests absorb carbon from the atmosphere and sequester it. Harvested wood products store carbon and substitute fossil based products. Along the chain, wood, harvesting residues and industrial residues are also used to produce bioenergy substituting fossil fuels. (Replacing fossil fuels by bioenergy is an interim target on the way to bio-based value chains creating high value added from products, materials and fuels.)

In the last decades, forests in Europe have been growing both in surface and in growing stock. Looking ahead, Chapter 9 of the 4th Assessment Report of the IPCC states: “In the long term, a sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitgigation benefit. Most mitigation activities require up-front investment with benefits and co-benefits typically accruing for many years to decades. The combined effects of reduced deforestation and degradation, afforestation, forest management, agro-forestry and bioenergy have the potential to increase from the present to 2030 and beyond”. The combined climate change mitigation effect should be maximised. Therefore disproportionate measures on one of these elements should be avoided.

In this context CEPI and its members welcome the recognition of forests and forest products in the EU’s new climate and energy policy framework 2020-2030 and the inclusion of the land use, land use change and forestry sector in the framework.

Even though the proposal is on a 10 year period, it should incentivise the long term carbon benefits of forests and the bio-economy. The inclusion should not lead to an optimisation for the 2020 to 2030 period. In the long term, Europe will need more wood products.

The regulation should provide a framework incentivising Member States to promote a forest management, which increases the capacity of its forests to take carbon out of the atmosphere and at the same time store it in products that substitute fossil products.

The Commission proposal includes several positive principles:

Emissions from the land use sector are reported when harvesting takes place. Carbon emissions should be accounted once. Emissions from the combustion of biomass should therefore accounted as zero to avoid double counting. This also ensures the climate effect of the wood use is allocated to the country in which the trees are harvested.

Harvested Wood Products (HWP) are recognised as carbon pools contributing to the mitigation efforts. We believe this is a very important element of the framework, as HWP provide a mitigation potential well below the 2020-2030 period.

Flexibility between LULUCF and the effort sharing sector is limited to afforestation. This gives Member States with potential for afforestation the possibility to use this abandoned land for afforestation. The potential for afforestation is varying strongly between Member States. However, we believe it is not necessary to limit this flexibility to 280 million tons of CO2. There should not be flexibility between LULUCF and effort sharing sector for forest management.

 We believe that the Commission should continue work towards international progress in carbon accounting and encourage other world regions to account for their emissions from LULUCF, particularly countries from which the EU is sourcing wood for bioenergy and products. A credible and though workable scheme in Europe could facilitate the uptaking of similar initiatives in other world regions. Such bottom-up approach has proven successful in the Paris agreement. 

Finally we welcome the fact that the proposal is directed to the Member States rather than smaller entities. This ensures the contribution from forestry is regarded upon in landscape approaches and with long time frames.

The Commission proposal contains provisions to be improved:

The framework should be comprehensive and as flexible as possible to further allow Member States to develop policies based on their national conditions.

 Forest management reference levels should be set on the basis of long timeframes in order to better reflect trends and responses to climate change policies and measures already in force. These timeframes should enable reference levels to emphasise the impact of most recent policy instruments affecting forest resources, forest management and use of forest products in the country.

The setting of projections based on reference levels has to be credible and transparent and should be based on subsidiarity in forest related issues. The European Commission’s role should be focused on ensuring harmonised country established reference levels and on ensuring credibility and transparency rather than a centralised recalculation on those national elements.

The criteria for the establishment of forest reference levels should be reviewed and better focused on carbon relevant criteria. Biodiversity conservation is already addressed in specific EU and national legislation and this should be reflected in policy.

The option chosen by the Commission is based on the no-debit rule. CEPI believes the no-debit rule is crucial in the LULUCF proposal to demonstrate that the forest sector acts as a sink. However, we believe that Member States demonstrating they harvest less than the net annual increment should not be sanctioned.

 

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21 Mar.2017

Global Forest and Paper Industry Celebrates International Day of Forests

SÃO PAULO – The theme of the 2017 United Nations International Day of Forests is Forests and Energy. The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) of which CEPI is a member is proud to represent the global forest products industry, which plays an important role in contributing to the production of renewable energy. While manufacturing its products from wood sourced from sustainably managed forests, the industry reduces dependence on fossil fuels. It uses by wood manufacturing residuals, byproducts and forest residues – collectively known as biomass – to produce efficiently much of the energy required for its operations and provides heat to local communities as well as to electrify the grid.

According to the international carbon accounting principle, when combusted for energy, biomass does not contribute to global climate change as growing trees sequester carbon from the atmosphere via photosynthesis. The ICFPA reiterates the carbon neutrality of biomass in a policy statement here

The sustainable management of forestry including the efficient use of biomass for energy is key to achieving global climate change commitments and are core principles in making the low-carbon bioeconomy a reality in Europe.” says Sylvain Lhôte, Director General at CEPI

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, wood provides the world with roughly 40 percent of current global renewable energy supply – more than solar, hydroelectric or wind power. Sustainably-managed forests have a key role in meeting several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and providing solutions for a growing green economy.

To increase the role of forests in providing renewable energy and to reduce the use of fossil fuels, the forest-based industry invests in technological innovation and sustainably-managed forests to improve yields and practices. In the past ten years, the energy share of biomass and other renewable fuels has increased ten percentage points from 53 to 63 percent.

The ICFPA represents more than 30 national and regional forest and paper associations around the world, including CEPI
For more information about the sustainability of the global forest and paper industry, visit icfpa.org.

 

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12 Oct.2016 ,

Joint Statement: Working Group on the future direction of FOREST EUROPE

European forest owners, managers and forest-based industries released a joint statement today, outlining key elements to be included in the review of the FOREST EUROPE process to ensure Sustainable Forest Management (SFM), at the first meeting of the working group on the future direction of the FOREST EUROPE in Bratislava.

European forest owners, managers and forest-based industries released a joint statement today outlining key elements to be included in the review of the FOREST EUROPE process to ensure Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) at the first meeting of the working group on the future direction of the FOREST EUROPE in Bratislava.

The signatories of the joint statement acknowledge the importance of the FOREST EUROPE process for the development and implementation of SFM in European forests. In the 1990s, European Forest Ministers gathered to share their concerns about the health of European forests and to seek solutions to improve it. Since then, FOREST EUROPE has helped to ensure that we have well functioning forest monitoring systems, research programmes, gene banks and advanced forest fire prevention systems. It also contributed to the global forest agenda agreed at the UNCED Rio Summit in 1992. It enables SFM to be economically viable at the same time as protecting forest biodiversity, soils, water sources, the use of forest biomass for bioenergy and other purposes. Last but not least, it succeeded in opening a completely new chapter on discussing a legally binding framework for Europe’s forests.

However, it is important to review the FOREST EUROPE process to ensure that today’s challenges in the forest and forest-based sector, which are more complex and demanding than ever, can be met. European forest owners, managers and industries therefore welcome the set-up of the working group on the future direction of FOREST EUROPE. The signatories of the joint statement believe that FOREST EUROPE needs to be able to respond to current and emerging challenges and opportunities, such as climate change, bio- and circular economy, sustainable sourcing of bioenergy, as well as green capital and the marketing of ecosystem services. It is crucial to strengthen FOREST EUROPE now to further develop the sustainable management of European forests and their multi-purpose use for the benefit of everyone. The signatories of the joint statement call for FOREST EUROPE to demonstrate leadership in this regard.

One of the biggest merits of FOREST EUROPE, which involves 46 European governments, the European Commission as well as numerous forest sector stakeholders and other international organizations, is that it enables stakeholders to have open and constructive dialogue. European forest owners, managers and industries will play an active part in the review process and contribute to the elaboration of a report by the end of 2017 to ensure that FOREST EUROPE is stronger and more effective in the future.

The joint statement was issued by major public and private forest owners, managers, other land owners and forest-based industries, represented by the Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF), European Farmers and European Agri-Cooperatives (COPA and COGECA), European Landowners’ Organization (ELO), European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR), European Federation of Municipal Forest Owners (FECOF), and Union of Foresters of Southern Europe (USSE), the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) and the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois).

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