Implementing the EU LULUCF regulation in Norway: Short-term and long-term policy coherence challenges

Forest Policy and Economics, Vol 166, published online 14.06.2024, 9 p. 

Forests play a significant role in Norway’s Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry (LULUCF) sector, where the forest sink is equal to about 40% of the national emissions from all other sectors combined. Although not an EU member, Norway has adopted the EU LULUCF regulation through a climate agreement with the EU. This article examines how the LULUCF regulation influences the coherence of Norway’s forest policies. Adopting the regulation initially received little public debate, but there is increasing political contestation over how to achieve the LULUCF net carbon dioxide removal target. In the short term, reaching the target might imply rapidly reducing forest harvest, but this would decrease activity in the forestry sector and the supply of harvested wood products that could involve substituting less climate-friendly materials and energy sources. From a long-term perspective, forest management efforts like denser planting, fertilization, harvesting, and rejuvenation might be needed to increase the forest sink capacity. Such policies are supported by forest owners and forestry organizations, but they are opposed by some environmental NGOs and other stakeholders advocating for the protection of forests and biological diversity. The study concludes that assessments of coherence crucially depend on how problems are defined and the time perspective adopted.



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