THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- takes the view that local and regional authorities undoubtedly have a decisive role in the sectors covered by the Effort Sharing Regulation and the LULUCF Regulation, as these regulations require the inclusion of the territorial dimension. These are areas where local and regional authorities could be active, in view of their legal responsibilities and powers.
- shares the Commission’s assessment that the negative trend of a reduction in the carbon sink in the EU needs to be counteracted as part of achieving the long-term goal of climate neutrality; agrees with the proposed EU target of net uptake of 310 Mt CO2-eq by 2030 and proposes an additional national contribution to the 2030 net target higher than the national targets set out in Annex IIa to be set individually by the Member States. The potential to increase net carbon uptake and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the LULUCF sector varies widely between Member States. It depends on the natural production capacity of the land and the distribution of the total land area on different land use categories. The CoR believes that the increased ambitions by 2030 should be at a level that is compatible with Member States’ domestic climate policy framework and enables the development of the bioeconomy in each Member State.
- believes that a common sector for agriculture and forestry risks reducing the pressure to lower emissions in the agricultural sector and that forest-rich countries with large net uptake in forests will "compensate" for emissions in countries with a large agricultural sector or fossil emissions in general. Measures to mitigate climate change should be taken in each sector and country based on its specific conditions.
- highlights the risks of excessive flexibility as regards borrowing from annual allocations and transfers between Member States. Local and regional authorities need certainty to plan their climate and economic policies. National situations that allow flexibility under the regulation might include significant regional disparities.
- emphasises that transition must not come at the cost of territorial cohesion and must not put at risk the most vulnerable groups and territories. All Member States and sectors of the economy contribute to achieving the CO2 emission reductions, balancing considerations of fairness and solidarity. In this regard, considers that territorial impact assessments on individual farmers and foresters could provide a clearer overview of the real costs and benefits.