Over the next four years, they will study what the EU's climate regulations mean for the management of forests and marshlands, and land use linked to the development of solar and wind power.

‘The new ClimaLand project gives us a unique opportunity to combine our cutting-edge expertise on European and Norwegian climate, energy, and nature policy in one project,’ exults project manager Lars H. Gulbrandsen.

A Solid Team

FNI researchers will collaborate closely with colleagues from NIBIO, CICERO, and the Frisch Centre, as well as several directorates and other user partners. "We have a strong team of researchers and user partners with a solid expertise in climate policy, energy policy, forestry, and land management at various steering levels," Gulbrandsen explains.

EU climate policy will have great significance for Norwegian forestry and land-use policy in the years leading up to 2030 and beyond. Researchers involved in the ClimaLand project will investigate trade-offs between policy goals, governance levels, and sector interests, and seek to identify how to design more coherent policies.

'More intensive forestry can conflict with the goal of preserving forests for both climate purposes and biological diversity’, says Gulbrandsen.

Our understanding of the relationship between land use and climate change has improved in recent years, but we still need to know more about designing holistic climate and land policies.
‘Conflicts and trade-offs between climate, energy, and nature considerations are challenges that we will increasingly have to deal with. Take, for example, the focus on investing in more timber, pulpwood, and bioenergy from the forestry industry. These can be important resources in the green transformation – but more intensive forestry may also conflict with the goal of preserving forests for climate purposes and for ensuring biological diversity’, explains Gulbrandsen.

An important objective is to investigate how conflicting policy goals can be handled and various considerations balanced. Gulbrandsen emphasizes that the project should not merely identify problems and challenges: it is essential to produce policy-relevant solutions for politicians, public administration, and private actors.

The project EU Climate Policy Implications for Land Use in Norway: Managing Trade-offs and Achieving Policy Coherence (ClimaLand) will be headed by the Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI). The aim is to provide up-to-date insights into the implications of the EU's climate policy for Norwegian land use, with special emphasis on forests and bogs. This project will identify trade-offs between political goals, levels, and sector interests, yielding new insights into how to achieve a more coherent policy.

Nature vs Climate

The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway. As highlighted in the press release in this connection:

‘We have to solve problems related to the scarcity of natural resources, land, energy, and food. For this, we need knowledge, and research that can shed light on a range of considerations. Such projects can have great significance for the environment, and as well as for identifying the linkages between various policy areas’, says Espen Barth Eide, Climate and Environment Minister.

The ClimaLand project has a budget of NOK 12.6 million. Gulbrandsen will be working together with his FNI colleagues Jørgen Wettestad, Tor Håkon Jackson Inderberg, Torbjørg Jevnaker, Ole Kristian Fauchald, and Anna Valberg.