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Reports (Research Report) Year : 2013

The contribution of European forest-related policies to climate change mitigation: energy substitution first

Abstract

In a framework where no common forestry policy exists at the EU level (such as the Common Agriculture Policy for agriculture), this report lists EU policies that have an impact on climate change mitigation that can be achieved by the forestry sector. With the objective of analyzing the coherence of these policies, we have established a typology and a hierarchy firstly by laying out the legal status and the financial and institutional resources associated with each policy, and secondly by reviewing the objectives of each policy in regards to climate change mitigation in the forestry sector. We finally analyze potentials synergies and conflicts between them. The consequences of each policy on climate change mitigation is assessed through three principal mitigation pathways in the forestry sector: carbon sequestration in forests, energy substitution (biomass, etc.), and what we refer to as the “harvested wood product use effect” (the sequestration of carbon in wood products and the substitution of more carbon-intensive materials with wood). The forest-related EU policies analyzed in this report are found to be globally coherent in terms of shared objectives, defining an EU forestry mitigation strategy focused on energy substitution through: • the Climate and Energy Package that does not address exclusively the forestry sector but has significant influence on energy substitution; • the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), the most important fund concerning forestry. Among the eligible actions which touch upon climate and forestry, member states have favoured those supporting energy-substitution and to a lesser extent carbon sequestration in forests; Non-mandatory policies such as forest strategies and the forest action plan have diversified objectives touching upon the three mitigation pathways. However their non-legally binding nature brings us to play down their importance. In the end, despite the unbalanced attention given to the different mitigation options, policy objectives are nevertheless coordinated and often complementary in terms of climate change mitigation.

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Dates and versions

hal-01151909 , version 1 (13-05-2015)

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : hal-01151909 , version 1
  • PRODINRA : 274007

Cite

Frederic Baron, Valentin Bellassen, Mariana Deheza. The contribution of European forest-related policies to climate change mitigation: energy substitution first. [Research Report] 40, auto-saisine. 2013, 44 p. ⟨hal-01151909⟩

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