At UNFCCC CoP21 conference, 195 countries agreed on the first universal and legally-binding global climate deal, also highlighting the role of forests and sustainable forest management (SFM) mitigating climate change. Earlier, in October 2014 EU leaders agreed on a new policy framework for climate and energy, including EU wide targets for the period between 2020 and 2030. In 2015, the Commission announced an updated bioenergy sustainability policy, as part of a renewable energy package for the period after 2020.
European forests and forest-based products have a great potential to contribute to climate change mitigation. Recent research indicate that each year Europe’s forests, harvested wood products, and material substitution effect of wood products contribute to achieve an overall climate mitigation of around 13 % of total EU CO₂ emissions.
Bioenergy currently represents 60% of the EU’s total consumption of renewables. The majority of bioenergy is generated from biomass from sustainably managed forests, and can be used for heating, electricity generation and transport fuels. Currently, woody biomass from forests and residues is the largest source of renewables in Europe, and its share is expected to grow by 2030.
The Paris Agreement sets out a plan to effectively decarbonize economies by mid-century. State forests are well positioned to be at the core of the EU climate change agenda and can play a leading role in the development of a vibrant European bioeconomy.
The event will gather high-level policy-makers, state forest management representatives and other stakeholders to discuss the European forests and forest-based products, and their potential to be at the core of EU climate change and energy agenda, focusing in particular on the solutions and approaches of the state managed forests.