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Hannah Mowat is a forests and climate campaigner for FERN, an NGO that keeps track of the European Union’s involvement in forest policy.
As climate talks in Bonn wrap up, it is time to take stock. It’s no surprise that the looming prospect of the US ditching the Paris Agreement cast its shadow over proceedings – the question won’t be resolved until after the G7 meeting in Italy later this month.
We’ve been here before. Hardened veterans of climate talks will remember when former President Clinton failed to get Senate approval to ratify the climate agreement in 1997. It was up to the EU to keep the show on the road – and they did.
Now the EU’s climate leadership – questioned of late – is being put to the test once again. Their influence is particularly needed in the prickly area of emissions from land and forests. This is because, unlike the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement also applies to developing countries, where carbon dioxide from land and forests dominate their emissions profile.
How the EU deals with emissions from its own land and forests is therefore of international significance, as emphasised by the 21 NGOs spanning environmental and development groups such as Fern, Friends of the Earth, Action Aid and CAN, who sent a letter to EU legislators negotiating the carbon accounting rules that the EU will set for forests and land, otherwise known as the ‘Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry’ (LULUCF) Regulation.