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Forests and climate

Fern’s aim is for an EU climate policy that halts deforestation, restores forests AND reduces fossil fuel emissions

Fern’s analysis: Forests store vast amounts of carbon. Protecting and restoring forests can help keep global temperature rises to well below 2o Celsius (aiming for 1.5 o Celsius), the goal agreed at the United Nations’ climate negotiations in Paris. But instead of protecting forests, we are clearing and degrading them, while draining carbon-rich peatlands in tropical regions. Ten per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions are released into the atmosphere as a result of deforestation. It is simply not possible to continue this destruction and achieve the targets outlined in the Paris Agreement.

In many regions, including Europe, forests are heavily degraded and under threat. Restoring them would increase their capacity to absorb carbon dioxide and give us a greater chance of limiting global temperature increases.

Evidence shows that forest restoration, done with the consent and full involvement of local communities is positive for forests, people and the climate if done as well as, and not instead of reducing fossil fuel emissions. ‘Offsetting’, where protecting forests is used as an excuse to burn more fossil fuels will do nothing to reduce the dangers of climate change. For that reason and many others, Fern has long campaigned against carbon trading. To keep average global temperature rises to well below 2o Celsius the EU, as a wealthy industrial region, must reduce emissions (from fossil fuel use and forest loss) to zero well before 2050, while ensuring the restoration of degraded forests within the EU and globally.

What Fern is doing: Fern is working with NGOs, policy makers and scientists to ensure EU forest and climate policies respect the rights of forest peoples and protect and restore forests.

To learn more about this campaign read Misleading Numbers, The Case for Separating Land and Fossil Based Carbon Emissions

 

Most recent publications

Achieving the 1.5 Target with Forests: What Role for the EU? - Panel event

 
Latests developments provided an important opportunity for Fern and its partners to invite EU representatives, experts and civil society to our panel event on 7 March 2018, "Achieving the 1.5° Target with Forests: What Role for the EU?" chaired by MEPs Heidi Hautala (Greens/EFA) and Carlos Zorrinho (S&D). The event discussed the Commission workplan priorities, reiterated the relevance and impact of the VPAs, encouraged EU institutions and Member States to integrate FLEGT principles and forests into relevant climate interventions, and raised the importance of restoring degraded forest ecosystems by working closely with local communities.

Nepal shows how forest restoration can help people, biodiversity and the climate

by Hanna Aho

A revolution is unfolding in the foothills of the Himalayas: trees are coming back to areas run by communities.

Over the past quarter century, the foothills of the Himalayas have seen a radical transformation. A pattern of destruction that unfolded over decades is steadily but irresistibly being reversed.

VPAs and NDCs: Sharing the Toolbox? – How lessons learned from EU FLEGT can be put to work for the Paris Agreement

As the Paris Agreement is ratified by each of its signatory states, they commit to put into action their specific national plans to combat climate change. These plans are called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).

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PDF iconVPAs and NDCs.pdf2.89 MB

Implications of new research for the IPCC 1.5°C special report, with a focus on land use

Interested scientists are currently invited to review the Second Order Draft of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on
how to achieve the 1.5°C target. Assembled here are key findings from a number of papers that appeared in the latter half of 2017 and pertain to the land-use sector.

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PDF iconland use and 1-5 degrees.pdf671.06 KB

Response to the Verified Carbon Standard

By Fern

In November 2017, Fern published new research showing why forest carbon offsets should be ineligible for the United Nations (UN) ICAO. The VCS issued a public “rebuttal” to our publication.

Fern wishes to reassert why forest offsets and, more broadly offsetting itself, is not a viable solution to climate change or a way to protect communities’ rights.

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