LULUCF

On February 7th I’m holding an event in Brussels to try to get a better understanding of Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry, LULUCF.  This is the title given by the European Commission to a new Regulation now making its way through the parliament.

Essentially this regulation is meant to be the last piece in the EU emissions jigsaw.  Green House Gases (GHGs) are responsible for Global warming and the EU wants to be able to account for these effects in land use. Up to now we have the Emissions Trading System (ETS) and the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR).  LULUCF completes the picture by accounting for the emissions and sequestrations given out by land and by the change of use of land. 

If land lies fallow, is it giving off GHGs or sequestrating GHGs?  Some experts would say that productive land is a GHG sink, as the more vigorous growth with bigger leaves will capture more CO2!!  This is not what one would immediately think.  The energy put into growing intensive crops requires lots of fossil fuels, fertilizer manufacturer, farm machinery use etc.  Is this in the LULUCF equation?

What will LULUCF mean to Biodiversity?  Planting more trees will capture more CO2 and other GHGs but we know that a) fast-growing coniferous trees can raise the pH levels in lands and watercourses., and b) trees will be cut down some day.  If they are used for biomass, the CO2 is released back into the atmosphere – so how good is this? 

Then there are all the questions of how a regulation like this will impact the Irish stakeholders – the farmers and the foresters.  The industries that depend on these primary producers will need to know the future of their supplies.  Will there be more or less lands devoted to forestry for example?  What way will the CAP of the future reflect LULUCF?

These are just some of the questions raised by LULUCF. 

I’ve assembled a team of experts to get us up to date on what is proposed and to give us their ideas of what the impacts might be.  More importantly, however, I’ve about thirty farmers and farmer representatives coming over to start this discussion.  There’s a lot to be figured out and the people that need to be best informed are those right at the coal-face (excuse the pun!) – the farmers and the foresters.

On February 7th I’m holding an event in Brussels to try to get a better understanding of Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry, LULUCF.  This is the title given by the European Commission to a new Regulation now making its way through the parliament.

Essentially this regulation is meant to be the last piece in the EU emissions jigsaw.  Green House Gases (GHGs) are responsible for Global warming and the EU wants to be able to account for these effects in land use. Up to now we have the Emissions Trading System (ETS) and the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR).  LULUCF completes the picture by accounting for the emissions and sequestrations given out by land and by the change of use of land. 

If land lies fallow, is it giving off GHGs or sequestrating GHGs?  Some experts would say that productive land is a GHG sink, as the more vigorous growth with bigger leaves will capture more CO2!!  This is not what one would immediately think.  The energy put into growing intensive crops requires lots of fossil fuels, fertilizer manufacturer, farm machinery use etc.  Is this in the LULUCF equation?

What will LULUCF mean to Biodiversity?  Planting more trees will capture more CO2 and other GHGs but we know that a) fast-growing coniferous trees can raise the pH levels in lands and watercourses., and b) trees will be cut down some day.  If they are used for biomass, the CO2 is released back into the atmosphere – so how good is this? 

Then there are all the questions of how a regulation like this will impact the Irish stakeholders – the farmers and the foresters.  The industries that depend on these primary producers will need to know the future of their supplies.  Will there be more or less lands devoted to forestry for example?  What way will the CAP of the future reflect LULUCF?

These are just some of the questions raised by LULUCF. 

I’ve assembled a team of experts to get us up to date on what is proposed and to give us their ideas of what the impacts might be.  More importantly, however, I’ve about thirty farmers and farmer representatives coming over to start this discussion.  There’s a lot to be figured out and the people that need to be best informed are those right at the coal-face (excuse the pun!) – the farmers and the foresters.