Press Release - Accounting rules and action plans on greenhouse emissions in the pipeline
21.12.2012, 11:47 (CET)
The Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper I) approved today, Friday December 21, the final compromise package agreed between the Council and the European Parliament, which was the outcome of the trilogue held on December 13, 2012, on Accounting Rules and Action Plans on Greenhouse Gas emissions and removals resulting from activities related to Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF).

The first reading agreement is expected to be officially ratified sometime next year and approved as an “A” item in a future Council. This file was considered a priority for the Cyprus Presidency and the European Commission and was the outcome was a product of lengthy and tough negotiations.

The proposed Decision establishes accounting rules for greenhouse gas emissions and removals in the forest and agriculture sectors, the last major sectors without common EU-wide rules.

Forests and agricultural lands cover more than three-quarters of EU territory and naturally hold large stocks of carbon, preventing its escape into the atmosphere, which makes them important for climate policy. Increasing the "trapping" capacity of carbon by just 10 percentage points – for example through improved forest or grassland management - would remove the annual emissions of 10 million cars from the atmosphere.

Although emissions and removals from LULUCF are reported under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Chance (UNFCCC) and partially accounted under the Kyoto Protocol, the sector was left out of the EU's climate commitments under the Climate and Energy Package due to the recognition of serious deficiencies in international accounting rules of emissions from this sector.

The main objective of this Decision is to establish robust and comprehensive accounting rules for LULUCF as well as to enable future policy development towards the full inclusion of LULUCF in the Union’s greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments when the conditions are right.

To this end, this Decision establishes a framework for:

  • the general accounting rules that must be applied;
  • the specific accounting rules for afforestation, reforestation, deforestation, forest management, changes in the harvested wood products pool, cropland management, grazing land management, revegetation, and wetland drainage and rewetting;
  • an accounting obligation on Member States as regards greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks associated with agricultural and forestry activities in the LULUCF sector and voluntary accounting for revegetation and wetland drainage and rewetting;
  • the specific rules for accounting for natural disturbances, etc.
Presidency Spokesperson in Brussels
Marianna Karageorgis

Coreper I

Telephone: +32 27404002
Mobile: +32 473858237