Today, the European Parliament’ s Committee on Environment voted on the Committee’s Report on the LULUCF Regulation and the Effort Sharing Regulation. Both proposals are part of a series adopted by the European Commission on 14 July 2021, which intends to achieve climate neutrality in the EU by 2050. While in principle these proposals must be in line with the Paris Agreement, their environmental ambitions do not necessarily amount to a balanced exercise between the three pillars of sustainability, as economic and social aspects seem to enjoy a secondary degree of importance.
With regards to the LULUCF, some of the compromise amendments (CAs) adopted remain very problematic for the agriculture sector. In particular, Copa and Cogeca regret the positiv e outcome on CA2, which establishes sub-targets for cropland, grassland, and wetlands, since it fails to reflect the nature and dynamics of the agriculture and forestry sectors.
Given the uncertainties surrounding carbon farming and carbon removals, including certification, CA4 amplifies the already quite ambitious target of 310 million tonnes of CO2-eq removals through an increase of at least 50 additional million tonnes of CO2-eq removals by 2030 seems rather premature.
In addition, CAs 5 and 10 attempt to, “set up a minimum criterion for the inclusion of biodiversity monitoring in land monitoring systems”. While Copa and Cogeca welcome and support the policy coherence, the inclusion of any criteria relating to biodiversity falls outside of the scope of the LULUCF and, thus, should not have been approved in this instance.
On a positive note, we welcome the approval of CA9 on ‘general flexibilities’ to comply with LULUCF requirements, including trading surpluses at a minimum price – necessary to ensure minimum coverage of expenses and compensation for the effort undertaken by certain Member States. However, we regret the lack of a distinction between ESR (agro) – LULUCF flexibilities and ESR (general) – LULUCF flexibilities. The Environment Committee passed on the opportunity to materialise the close and synergetic relationship between agriculture and forestry, as compared to other industries.
With regards to the Effort Sharing Regulation, Copa and Cogeca welcome the prioritisation of reductions over removals since it is important to ensure that all sectors play their role in our fight against climate change (CA5).
However, less favourably seen are the increased targets under CA1 and the reduction on the quantity of allowances a Member State can borrow (CA3). The targets included under the ESR are already quite pioneering, in particular given the current political developments. In addition, a distinction between sectors’ flexibilities or allowances would have been appreciated as the currently approv ed v ersion fails to reflect the synergic relationship of the agriculture and forestry sectors.
Artigo publicado originalmente em Copa Cogeca.