LULUCF (Lu-Lu-C-F) Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry: what will COP 16 do about unaccounted emissions from logging?

During the first commitment period of the KP, countries are only required to voluntarily account for emissions from logging. This means that countries can determine their own baselines, including the use of a baselines based on future instead of historical data. There are several options on the table to decide how to account for forest management during the second commitment period.

(1)      Tuvalu proposed text to use the first commitment period as a mandatory historical baseline.

(2)      The Africa Group proposed a compromise text which combines historical baselines with projected baselines.

(3)      Developed countries propose a continuation of voluntary accounting. 

During a debrief by Climate Action Network 12/7 at 6:30 I heard that most countries hope to continue this voluntary accounting into the second commitment period.  France is the only developed country not advocating for voluntary accounting. The EU generally supports voluntary accounting because it allows each EU country to do what they want.  New Zealand is particularly interesting because of the high level of unaccounted for logging emissions. Most countries have unaccounted for emissions ranging from 1.4% of emissions (Canada) to 8.7% of emissions (Norway). The difference between New Zealand’s proposed reference level and their average historical net emissions is 66%. New Zealand is pledging emissions reductions of 22% by 2020. Actual emissions reduction would change dramatically if logging emissions were taken into account.

In addition to logging, other areas which do not require mandatory accounting are wetland management and cropland management. Emissions from biofuels are also not accounted for in LULUCF or within the energy and transportation sector!