ESA publishes a Decision on Norway's revised forest reference level for 2021-2025

Land use, land use change and forestry is one of the three pillars of the agreement between EU, Norway and Iceland on joint fulfilment of our 2030 emission targets. ESA has published Norway and Iceland's revised National Forestry Accounting Plans, including the forest reference level through an ESA decision.

The EU regulation on land use, land use change and forestry requires that countries present a National Forestry Accounting Plan. Norway published its draft National Forestry Accounting Plan in March 2019, and formally notified the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) on 12 March 2020, the day after the agreement on our joint fulfillment of the 2030 emission targets entered into force. The plan proposed a forest reference level in managed forests for the period 2021-2025. The construction of the forest reference level is based on the continuation of the management practices in Norwegian managed forest land, as observed in the reference period 2000 – 2009.

During spring 2020, Norway and Iceland's draft National Forestry Accounting Plans were subjects to a revision led by ESA. ESA issued a Decision on 26 June 2020 (Decision No: 068/20/COL) with an assessment and technical recommendations to the National Forest Accounting Plans.

Norway revised its National Forestry Accounting Plan and forest reference level according to ESA's technical. The forest reference level is in average 26,1 mill. ton net removals of COper year in the period 2021-2025, including harvested wood products. 16th December ESA issued a decision setting out the FRLs to be applied by Iceland and Norway.

The definitions, methodologies and data used to calculate the forest reference level are consistent with the methods used to estimate emissions and removals in the National greenhouse gas inventory report reported under UNFCCC, including the National Forest Inventory. The reference level is fulfilling the Paris Agreement's principles of transparency, accuracy, completeness, comparability and consistency.  

Background

The agreement on joint fulfilment of our 2030 emissions target means that Norway is part of EU's climate legislation for 2030. This includes EU's regulation on land use, land use change and forestry (no. 2018/841). According to regulation, countries shall record changes in removals and emissions from managed forests on the basis of a forward-looking reference level.