Shared agriculture, land use, and forestry emissions target would undermine EU climate action

woman digging up new crop of potatoes on own small garden

Emissions from land use change and forestry must not be grouped together in a common target with those from farming and other sectors – doing so would significantly undermine efforts to reduce non-CO2 emissions from farms, particularly from livestock and fertilizers.

Faustine Defossez, EEB Senior Policy Officer on Agriculture and Bioenergy, said:

Farming is not only being seriously affected by climate change it is also contributing to it. Up to 10% of EU greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to farming practices. Magically offsetting livestock and fertilizer emissions via carbon credits from trees will not be enough to reduce emissions.

Responding to the Commission’s consultation [1] on how to address CO2 emissions from agriculture and land use, land use change and forestry, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) has called for keeping this sector – known as LULUCF – out of the 40% target and ensuring it has its own target. Under LULUCF accounting rules, Europe’s forests and land absorb more carbon than they emit so including them in a common instrument would undermine other sectors’ efforts – increases in livestock emissions would be offset and non-CO2 emissions from farming would not be properly addressed [2].

Faustine Defossez continued: 

“We can’t let the farming sector off the hook. A sector that today benefits from the support of almost 40% of the EU budget must play its part in the fight against climate change by reducing emissions, both CO2 and non CO2. This will also help make much-needed improvements to air, soil, and water quality, as well as to biodiversity.

The EEB called for two distinct methods for counting emissions in a joint-letter [3] sent today from NGOs to Climate Action Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete.


For further information please contact:

Faustine Defossez, EEB Senior Policy Officer for Agriculture and Bioenergy  +32 (0) 487 244 270

Emily Macintosh, EEB Communications Officer for Nature Protection and Agriculture +32 (0) 2 274 10 86

Notes to editors:

[1] The EEB presented its submission to the Commission’s consultation on addressing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and LULUCF in the context of the 2030 EU climate and energy framework. Consultation period ends today (18.06.15)

[2]  EEB  Effort Sharing Decision consultation response

[3]  NGO letter to Climate Action Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete

For more information:

Emily Macintosh, Communications Officer - Nature and Agriculture

+32 2 274 10 86

Shared agriculture, land use, and forestry emissions target would undermine EU climate action
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