Recognising the role of forests in reducing greenhouse gas emissions is important. A growing forest stores carbon. Furthermore, raw material from the forest is a viable replacement for fossil-based products and services.
In 2014, the EU agreed on a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to at least 40 per cent of the EU's emissions in 1990. This undertaking was also the EU's joint contribution to the 2015 climate convention conference in Paris.
In July 2015, the EU commission presented its proposal on how the emissions trading system (ETS) in Europe should be reformed as of 2021. The next proposal came in July 2016, specifying the allocation of responsibilities between the EU member states with regard to emissions outside the ETS. It also includes a number of "flexibility mechanisms" that enable differences in the conditions prevalent in each country to be evened out.
The target proposed for Sweden is a 40 per cent reduction. Sweden and Luxembourg have the highest goals. The report recently presented by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Objectives Committee proposes a 58 per cent reduction for the same period.
As a strategic and ambitious climate policy can drive growth in the global bioeconomy, the Swedish Forest Industries Federation is positive towards the climate goals proposed for the EU and Sweden. It is important that we nurture the role of forests in climate improvement. This role is as a carbon store and as a raw material that replaces fossil-based products and services.
Replacing oil-based products, such as petrol, with renewable fuels reduces emissions. In this context, it is important to point out that the Swedish Forest Industries Federation does not want to see a move towards "carbon forestry" aimed at setting aside forests as carbon sinks. A policy that stimulates both the storing of carbon in products and the replacement of greenhouse gas intensive products is to be preferred.
In general, the Swedish Forest Industries Federation would like the EU's climate policy to promote the measures that are the most cost-efficient from an environmental and financial perspective.