LULUCF: the Second Agenda

You’ve heard about all the trouble with the logging loophole in LULUCF. But there’s another important agenda on emissions from non-forest lands under the Kyoto Protocol.
Several ideas such as mandatory accounting for cropland management and grazing land management, and the introduction of a new activity category of wetland management, have languished with very little discussion. Yet Parties seem to think they are on the downhill run wrapping up LULUCF.
Emission from biofuels (processing crops and burning them as transport fuels) also risks being mostly ignored at a time when they are expected to grow rapidly as an alternative to fossil fuels.
There are issues with data availability and accuracy in accounting for these activities. But that is no excuse for deferring action in the second commitment period. One thing that can be done is to use a hotspots approach, concentrate MRV efforts on identifying the lands with the most significant sources of emissions, and estimate these activities in the most accurate and practicable way whilst commencing on a SBSTA program to introduce more comprehensive accounting.
The new rules could well make a huge amount of forest management emissions vanish through a loophole, but even worse, also fail to capture significant emissions arising from the other land use activities.
There is still time to construct a complete agenda for LULUCF rules with integrity for the next commitment period, but there is not a moment more to lose.
 

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