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Published: Wednesday 04 September, 2013

cheap fashion online stores cheap fashion online stores ?EU could meet emission targets with forests

Between 1990 and 2005 the expansion of forests in the 27 EU countries absorbed an additional 126m tonnes of carbon each year equal to 11 per cent of the continents emissions.

The findings stunned a research team from the University of Helsinki who had in 1992 estimated the rate of increase of CO2 absorption through the expansion of forests at no more than 5 per cent.

This shows that forests have been more important than switching to renewables in combating carbon emissions. Renewables have a part to play but they dont have as big a role as forests, said Professor Pekka E Kauppi who led the research.

The message has to be plant more trees. It is up to the negotiators who formulate policy but we think this is an important additiona cheap fashion online stores l weapon.

EU leaders agreed the 20 per cent target earlier this year but no decision has been made on how the reductions will be divided among member states and whether carbon landsinks such as forests will be included.

The researchers, writing in UK journal Energy Policy, said meeting the ambitious goal would require more than energy efficiency, new technology and reduction of nonCO2 gasses such as methane. Giving carbon credit for expansion of forests could also play a decisive role.

The performance of the forests as effective carbon sinks rate varied from 10 per cent in the 15 old member states Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, UK to 15 per cent in the 12 new states Bulgaria, cheap fashion online stores Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia.

In Latvia forests more than offset per capita emissions and forests in Lithuania, Sweden, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Finland absorbed a large part of national emissions. But it did not have such a big impact on lightlyforested countries such as Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, Cyprus and Denmark.

Last year Prof. Kauppi and his international team revealed the shift from clearing to planting trees in the worlds most forested nations. They urged a more sophisticated approach to measuring forest cover that considered not just the area of forest but also the density of trees per hectare.

The team calculated the biomass and atmospheric carbon stored in forests and reported that forests had in fact expanded over the past 15 years in 22 of the 50 countries with most forest, including several EU members.

The good news is that trees are extremely efficient mechanisms for capturing and storing carbon, says Prof. Kauppi, a member of the Nobellaureate UN International Panel on Climate Change.

According to rough estimates, their impact in reducing atmospheric carbon may well be twice that achieved by the use of renewable energy in Europe today.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, the EU is committed to an 8 per cent reduction of annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2012, using 1990 as the base year. Countries do not currently get credit for increasing natural carbon sinks through forestry and agriculture but negotiations on an accord to cover the postKyoto period 2012 to 2020 are underway.

CO2 emissions in EU nations grew by an average of 1 per cent every three years between 1992 and 2004. To reduce CO2 emissions in the EU by 20 per cent in the next 12 years, carbon emission needs to at least halve.

The report says emissions have not yet started to decline and that time is running out for the EU to meet its 2020 target.

Land owners can benefit with new industries like forestbased bioenergy production. This could also help to reduce one of the main threats to sustained forest expansion the need to open land to produce agricultural biofuels as alternatives to fossil fuels.

According to the UNs Food and Agriculture Organisation the UKs forests stored 95m tonnes of carbon in living biomass in 1990, rising to 112m tonnes in 2005. Over the same period the total amount of carbon in vegetation and soil rose from 778m tonnes to 858m tonnes.

But while forested areas in the UK have doubled over the last 60 years, the Forestry Commission warned further expansion was limited by pressure on the land. And threequ cheap fashion online stores arters of the nations land area would be needed just to offset emissions from cars. cheap fashion online stores