Reducing CO₂ emissions: EU targets and measures
The new rules will increase the EU’s natural carbon sinks, for example by restoring wetlands and peatlands, planting new forests and stopping deforestation. This should lead to an even greater reduction in EU emissions of 57 per cent by 2030, compared to the 55 per cent previously set, avoiding at least 310 million tonnes of CO₂ equivalent.
From 2026, EU Member States will have nationally binding 2030 targets for removals and emissions from the LULUCF sector, based on current removals and the potential for further removals. By then, EU countries must ensure that emissions from the LULUCF sector do not exceed the amount that has already been removed.
The rules also provide for better monitoring and more flexibility for member states, including compensation when affected by natural disturbances such as forest fires, pests or storms, and the possibility to use LULUCF credits to offset emissions from sectors covered by the burden sharing regulation .
What areas are affected by this legislation?
The revised plans affect the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector. This mainly includes forest land and agricultural land, as well as land whose use has changed to or from one of these uses.
This sector emits greenhouse gases, for example, from land use change, especially when forests are used for other purposes such as cropland, when trees are cut down, or from livestock on agricultural land.
However, it is also the only sector through which CO₂ can be removed from the atmosphere, especially through forests.