EU climate change funding plans should be angled towards investment in forestry.
On 10 September, an important announcement was made by the European Commission outlining plans to increase funding to help developing nations combat climate change.
These funding goals include plans to invest in the development of carbon offsetting schemes and renewable energies like bio-fuels, that use forestry waste products.
The EC hopes that the new plans will be the base of an ambitious United Nations climate change agreement, which it hopes to establish in Copenhagen in December. The EC says this agreement should ‘set the world on a pathway to preventing global warming from reaching dangerous levels.’
This is an ambitious goal indeed, but its plans could lead to significant investment in forestry within developing countries, which we think could make a huge impact on climate change. In addition to timber’s use in renewable energies, sustainable forests also absorb dangerous carbon dioxide gas, potentially leading to lower air temperatures.
The EC says it expects the cost of financing measures, which help mitigate climate change, to reach EUR100 billion per year by 2020. This funding will come from the international carbon trading market, international public finance and domestic private and public finance, according to the EC release.
If the agreement is reached, countries should be expected to produce low carbon growth plans by 2011, with mid and long-term objectives set out clearly.
In order to get these low-carbon plans off the ground, the EC proposes financing of between EUR 5 and 7 billion a year for developing countries. This will fund research and development of bio-fuels, will provide investment in forestry, and will help the countries adapt to a low-carbon way of life.
The plans suggest the European Union should look at making a contribution of EUR 500 million to EUR 2.1 billion by the beginning of next year.