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Open AccessArticle

By 2050 the Mitigation Effects of EU Forests Could Nearly Double through Climate Smart Forestry

Wageningen Environmental Research, Wageningen University and Research, P.O. Box 47, 6700AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
Laboratory of Forest Economics, INRA and Climate Economics Chair, 14 rue Girardet-CS 14216, 54042 Nancy CEDEX, France
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE-901 83 Umeå, Sweden
Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Freiburg, Tennenbacherstr 4, 79106 Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
European Forest Institute, Yliopistokatu 6, 80101 Joensuu, Finland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2017, 8(12), 484;
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 22 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Smart Forestry)
PDF [1203 KB, uploaded 18 December 2017]


In July 2016, the European Commission (EC) published a legislative proposal for incorporating greenhouse gas emissions and removals due to Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) into its 2030 Climate and Energy Framework. The Climate and Energy Framework aims at a total emission reduction of 40% by 2030 for all sectors together as part of the Paris Agreement. The LULUCF proposal regulates a “no debit” target for LULUCF (Forests and Agricultural soils), and regulates the accounting of any additional mitigation potential that might be expected of it. We find that the forest share of the LULUCF sector can achieve much more than what is in the regulation now. We elaborate a strategy for unlocking European Union (EU) forests and forest sector potential based on the concept of “climate smart forestry” (CSF). We find that to-date, European policy has not firmly integrated forest potential into the EU climate policy framework. Nor have climate objectives been firmly integrated into those of the forest and forest sector at either the EU or national level. Yet a wide range of measures can be applied to provide positive incentives for more firmly integrating these climate objectives into the forest and forest sector framework. With the right set of incentives in place at EU and Member States levels, we find the current literature supports the view that the EU has the potential to achieve an additional combined mitigation impact through CSF of 441 Mt CO2/year by 2050. In addition, CSF, through reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas emissions, adapting and building forest resilience, and sustainably increasing forest productivity and incomes, tackles multiple policy goals. View Full-Text
Keywords: European forests; carbon sequestration; harvested wood products; bio-energy; climate smart forestry European forests; carbon sequestration; harvested wood products; bio-energy; climate smart forestry

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Nabuurs, G.-J.; Delacote, P.; Ellison, D.; Hanewinkel, M.; Hetemäki, L.; Lindner, M. By 2050 the Mitigation Effects of EU Forests Could Nearly Double through Climate Smart Forestry. Forests 2017, 8, 484.

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