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Parliamentary questions
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19 February 2020
E-000994/2020
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Carmen Avram
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: The need for concrete, binding and ambitious actions to protect and restore EU forests in the EU Biodiversity Strategy

The Conference on Forests (1) for Climate and Biodiversity organised on 4 and 5 February 2020 (2) showed that science confirms the need for an ambitious policy and bold strategic actions to protect and restore forests.

Moreover, science makes clear that the recast of the Renewable Energy Directive (3) fell short of the aim of further limiting the use of subsidies harmful to the environment or climate, which were previously legally awarded under the first Renewable Energy Directive (4) . Clear rules need to be set to prevent forests being burnt (5) for energy purposes (6)(7)

The EU needs to implement up-to-date science-based policy measures for the Climate and Energy Package through articles and annexes on delicate forest ecosystems (8) . In order to choose a correct policy, we also need to actively and transparently take account of all relevant carbon pools, and the fact that as forests grow and age they keep sequestering carbon, including in the soil – contrary to the popular view that they become carbon emitters.

Can the Commission explain in detail its concrete, binding and ambitious actions related to EU forests as part of the EU Biodiversity Strategy?

In particular, what concrete actions will be taken to both protect and restore forests? What measures will be taken to deliver on the commitment to effective enforcement of current nature protection legislation?

(1)https://europa.eu/newsroom/events/international-conference-forests-biodiversity-and-climate-change_en
(2)https://ec.europa.eu/info/events/international-conference-forests-biodiversity-and-climate_en
(3)https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/jec/renewable-energy-recast-2030-red-ii
(4)https://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/topics/renewable-energy/renewable-energy-directive/overview
(5)https://www.europeaninterest.eu/article/five-burning-questions-eus-forest-policies-2020/
(6)https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/14/eu-must-not-burn-the-worlds-forests-for-renewable-energy
(7)https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/opinion/eu-must-not-burn-the-worlds-forests-for-renewable-energy/
(8)https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/european-forest-ecosystems
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