Members' Research Service By / December 13, 2021

Revision of the LULUCF Regulation: Strengthening the role of the land use, land-use change and forestry sector in climate action [EU Legislation in Progress]

The European Green Deal, which seeks to make Europe the first climate neutral continent by 2050, is one of the six political priorities of the von der Leyen Commission. The European Climate Law of April 2021 made this ambition legally binding, while also increasing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target for 2030 from ‘at least’ 40 % to ‘at least’ 55 % net, compared to 1990.

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Written by Liselotte Jensen (5th edition, updated on 03.05.2023).

To align regulations and policies with the legally binding goals – delivering, by 2030, a 55 % net greenhouse gas emissions reduction compared with 1990, and reaching climate neutrality in Europe by 2050 – on 14 July 2021,the European Commission presented its first proposals under the ‘fit for 55’ package. The package included amendments to Regulation (EU) 2018/841 on emissions and removals from land use, land-use change and forestry (the LULUCF Regulation).

Industry stakeholders fear too rigid frameworks, drawing attention to local circumstances and integrated value chains. Environmental organisations broadly find LULUCF removals ambitions too low, calling for carbon storage through protection of nature sites rather than storage in wood products.

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The European Parliament and Council adopted their positions in June 2022. A trilogue agreement, reached on 11 November 2022, changes the approach from balancing emissions and removals in the LULUCF sector to increasing removals. In 2030, LULUCF carbon removals will need to reach 310 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Parliament approved the agreed text on 14 March 2023. The regulation was published in the Official Journal on 21 April, and enters into force on 11 May.


Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) 2018/841 on the inclusion of greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land use, land use change and forestry in the 2030 climate and energy framework
Committee responsible:Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI)COM(2021) 554
Rapporteur:Ville Niinistö (Greens/EFA, Finland)2021/0201(COD)
Next steps expected:Dan-Ştefan Motreanu (EPP, Romania)
Delara Burkhardt (S&D, Germany)
Martin Hojsík (Renew, Slovakia)
Laura Huhtasaari (ID, Finland)
Anna Zalewska (ECR, Poland)
Marina Mesure (The Left, France)
Ordinary legislative procedure (COD)
(Parliament and Council on
equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected:
Regulation (EU) 2023/839
OJ L 107, 21.4.2023, pp. 1-39

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