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EU Green Paper on forests and climate change: missed opportunity

In March 2010, the European Commission launched an EU-wide consultation to find out whether the EU should increase its efforts to protect forests under a changing climate.

The main challenges facing Europe’s forests were set out in a Green Paper on forest protection and climate change.

The Global Forest Coalition formulated a response to this Green Paper, in which it says the Green Paper is a missed opportunity and contains several flawed assumptions:

• The Green Paper uses a flawed definition of forests, which does not distinguish between real forests and industrial tree plantations. The latter, commonly of non-native trees, harm biodiversity, the freshwater cycle and soils.

• Assumptions about logging, fire prevention and carbon sequestration favour greater logging and forest exploitation, especially for bioenergy. This creates the impression that what is good for bioenergy industry is also good for forests, whereas the opposite is true.

• More logging and plantations in Europe are envisioned to meet the new, fast-growing demand for bioenergy. This will also lead to more import of wood. The EU Green Paper fails to look at the impact which this massive demand, directly or indirectly – will have on forests and forest-dependent people in the Global South.

In general, The Global Forest Coalition is deeply concerned that pressures on European forests as well as forests worldwide are increasing significantly due to the EU’s support for large-scale wood-based bioenergy. It says the EU should abolish the 10% renewable energy for transport target and stop subsidizing large-scale wood-based bioenergy. It also calls for a reduced demand for wood.

Read the full response.

13 Sep, 2010
Posted in Forests and Climate Change