The European Parliament and the EU Council have reached a provisional deal on regulating carbon removals through land use, forestry and agriculture.
The agreement increases the EU’s target for net carbon removals by natural sinks to 310 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2030.
The provisional deal on the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) regulation is another step in the adoption of the Commission’s ‘Fit for 55’ legislative package to deliver the EU’s climate ambition under the European Green Deal.
The LULUCF sector covers the use of soils, trees, plants, biomass and timber and is responsible for both emitting and absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere.
Member states will be responsible for caring for and expanding their carbon sinks to meet the new EU target through measures including sustainable forest management and the rewetting of peatlands.
According to the Commission, the agreement simplifies the existing rules and enhances the quality of monitoring, reporting and verification of emissions and removals, using more accurate and precise data monitoring such as geographical data and remote sensing.
Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal said: “Nature is our greatest ally in the fight against the climate and biodiversity crises. It shields us from climate extremes and absorbs carbon. Right now, Europe’s nature is struggling and our carbon sinks are shrinking.
“By setting a higher target for carbon removals through nature and ensuring more accurate monitoring, our new regulation on land use and forests helps to redress that situation and puts the European carbon sink on a path to growth again. It’s a key requirement to meet our net zero target and even opens the door to a higher climate target in the near future. This agreement is therefore a crucial step in delivering our promise to become climate-neutral by 2050.”