Understanding GHG Fluxes from Forests & Land Use

Land use, including forests, is critically important to achieving Paris Agreement goals — particularly reaching carbon balance by the second half of the century.  Currently the “land sink” (mostly forests) absorbs one-third of global carbon pollution (largely from fossil fuels), and thus is a critically important part of the global carbon budget.

However, many people feel that understanding how forests and land use relate to climate change is confusing — particularly confounding to many is their treatment within the UNFCCC.  This website and the products contained within it have been created to help de-mystify and explain land use-related mitigation, with a focus on forests and their respective GHG fluxes.  It seeks to explain:

  • The mitigation potential of forests
  • How forests (and land use) are treated within the UNFCCC, including the differences between reporting and accounting of GHG emissions and removals
  • Why country reporting of GHG fluxes from forests (e.g. in national GHG inventories) may differ from independent estimates and why understanding this is critical for the Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement

Comments and/or questions are most welcome.  Please email: forestfluxes@clua.net

GHG Fluxes from Forests: An assessment of national GHG estimates and independent research

This report seeks to clarify which forest-related emissions and removals are (and are not) included in national GHG inventories submitted to the UNFCCC and to identify and explain divergences with independent studies, including those summarized in IPCC Assessment Reports.

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UNFCCC Accounting for Forests: What’s in and what’s out of NDCs and REDD+

This policy brief provides information on how forests are included in GHG inventories, NDCs and REDD+ reference levels, why their scope may differ, and other issues around “accounting” for forest-related mitigation performance.

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Understanding Land Use in the UNFCCC

This guide seeks to explain the treatment of land use under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including requirements for reporting GHG emissions and removals, accounting under the Kyoto Protocol, and guidance for REDD+.

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