European Parliament voting on September 13 and 14
In the upcoming week, important forest and climate policy votes are on the agenda in the EU Parliament (EU Forest Strategy, Regulation on Deforestation-Free Products, RED III - Renewable Energy Directive). However, the present drafts contain many barriers and impediments for active sustainable forest management and pose a massive threat to it. They are representing a misguided forest and climate policy.
The following points are particularly critical in the view of the experts and need to be changed in the vote:
Regulation on Deforestation-Free Products
While in principle, efforts to limit deforestation in third countries through European consumption are to be supported, these must be in line with other objectives such as the Bioeconomy Strategy and without disproportionate bureaucratic burdens for operators and producers, as envisaged in the proposed draft.
The regulation proposes that operators who place products from wood, cattle, cocoa, coffee, soy and palm oil on the EU market for the first time, or export them in third countries, must in future comply with a much stricter due diligence obligation and prove in elaborate manner that the production has not led to deforestation.
Critical points, among others, concern the following:
Renewable Energy Directive RED III:
The European Council has already taken a position against a delegated act on cascading wood use and insisted on the inclusion of SFM (Sustainable Forest Management) criteria.
In general, the proposed restrictions on the energetic utilization of woody biomass would be a severe setback in the fight against climate change. In order to reduce CO2 emissions and in line with the bioeconomy strategy, it is important to promote the replacement of fossil raw materials with renewable ones instead of increasingly restricting their use.
Critical issues include the following points put forward for discussion:
EU Forest Strategy
The proposed Forest Strategy massively interferes with Member States’ competences and property rights. With a generalized, “one-size-fits-all” approach for the treatment of great a diversity of different ecological and socio-economic conditions in European forests and among forest managers, the sustainable provision of multifunctional forest services will suffer greatly. With the upcoming voting on the Report of the European Parliament, there is a chance to change the Strategy’s course. The Parliament is therefore well advised to avert the critical developments mentioned in the Strategy.
With a social media campaign (see on the right), these undesirable developments are being pointed out these days. We are urgently calling for the present drafts to be amended in the plenary.