EU could clarify forestry, land use accounting to strengthen its INDC

Climate Action Tracker Policy Brief

Published: 30/03/2015

Under the UNFCCC, all governments “in a position to do so” are asked to submit an “intended nationally determined contribution” (INDC) to a future international climate agreement by the end of the first quarter of this year. The EU submitted their INDC target in October 2014 announcing it would reduce its domestic greenhouse gas emissions by “at least 40%” below 1990 levels by 2030.

However, the EU’s INDC includes forestry accounting, which could effectively weaken the reductions necessary by all other sectors by a few percentage points. The original proposal of domestic reductions of 40% is already less ambitious than what the range of studies find to be the EU’s fair contribution to the global effort to limit warming to 2˚C.

During 2015, in addition to increasing its overall emissions reductions target, the EU has an opportunity to clarify the magnitude of the impact of its LULUCF accounting. According to the Climate Action Tracker, one option could be that the EU specifies that its ‘at least 40% domestic emission reductions by 2030’ would be achieved by all sectors excluding LULUCF, i.e. irrespective of LULUCF accounting rules. In addition, the EU would also need to indicate a target for 2025 given that the question of the length of commitment periods remains unresolved: many countries are calling for five years (2021 to 2025).

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Yvonne Deng
Climate Strategies and Policies
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Kornelis Blok
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