Nordic Council Examines Role of Land-Use in Future Climate Agreement

Nordic Council Logo8 April 2014: The Nordic Council of Ministers has published a report proposing ways to ensure an effective treatment of the land-use sector under a future climate change agreement.

The report, titled 'The Land-Use Sector within the Post-2020 Climate Regime,' examines how the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol currently address the land-use sector. It then suggests how various incentives and systems could be harmonized under a future climate treaty.

It notes that currently, the treatment of the land-use sector under the UNFCCC and the Protocol is piecemeal, with a “fragmented set of rules, incentives and obligations” for the sector. It highlights the need for concerted effort to ensure that this piecemeal system is not carried forward to the new global climate change agreement currently being negotiated by parties and expected to be agreed in 2015. The report calls for harmonized, coherent policies on land use, with different commitments for the different areas, such as land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF), and REDD+, but with consistent frameworks for accounting, and measuring, reporting and verification (MRV).

The report outlines essential elements of the treatment of the land-use sector in a future climate change agreement, including the need to: ensure policy coherence; consider different capabilities of countries; move towards full accounting of all land-based sources and emissions; encourage transparency; and provide financial incentives for all land-use activities. It concludes by underlining that ultimately, the land-use system should be used to strengthen, not weaken, the future climate change agreement. [Publication: The Land-use Sector Within the Post-2020 Climate Regime]