Caution needed with the EU forest plantation strategy for offsetting carbon emissions


As part of the 2015 Paris climate agreement and under its Green Deal, the EU proposes to strongly rely on forests for offsetting its carbon footprint. However, planting trees should be avoided in wildfire prone and drought prone habitats, which are expanding significantly as climate warms across Europe. In favorable habitats, tree planting remains a controversial solution and the risk of using inappropriate material is high in the absence of long-term planning, unfortunately typical of the forest seed and nursery sector. The EU forest tree planting strategy should pay close attention to local land-use issues, to within- and among-species genetic diversity and should adopt relevant, pluri-annual funding schemes and planting contracts rather than letting market opportunities govern the future of forest tree plantations.