Official: EU taking first steps to bring forestry into carbon market

(EurActiv, 22 Oct 2020) The first step to bring forestry under the EU’s emissions trading scheme is to ensure that every tonne of carbon dioxide in the forest is counted so that a certification system for carbon removals can be put in place, Artur Runge-Metzger told EURACTIV.

Artur Runge-Metzger is the director at the European Commission’s department for climate action, where he is in charge of climate strategy, governance and emissions from non-trading sectors. He spoke to EURACTIV’s energy and environment editor, Frédéric Simon. 


  • “Every tonne” of carbon dioxide in EU forests has to be counted, reported and monitored
  • The European Commission is looking at “carbon farming” to encourage farmers to uptake carbon in soils or vegetation
  • The European Commission is working on a certification system for carbon removals that should be ready “by 2023”
  • Certificates will be issued for each tonne of carbon dioxide stored in forests or agricultural land
  • But if a forest goes up in flames, the corresponding certificate will have to be cancelled
  • Forests could be brought under the ETS once the certificate is robust enough

The European Commission’s 2030 climate plan presented two weeks ago, places more emphasis on forestry and agriculture in the EU’s fight against climate change. In particular, the Commission said the capacity of forests to act as “carbon sinks” has been decreasing over the years and needs to be reversed. So how does the Commission intend to achieve this?

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EurActiv, 22 Oct 2020: Official: EU taking first steps to bring forestry into carbon market