19 Apr 2021, 13:38
Edgar Meza

Leading parliamentary groups back 'climate premium' for forest owners

Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung

The parliamentary groups of German government coalition partners CDU/CSU and SPD are calling for forest owners to be financially rewarded for their contribution to climate action, writes the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. The official request calls for the Bundestag to develop a model that rewards the diverse ecosystem services provided by forests, such as carbon dioxide sequestration, biodiversity and soil protection."The situation in the forest is dramatic and continues to give cause for great concern," said SPD member Isabel Mackensen. The federal forest climate premium is intended to create a long-term perspective for sustainable forest management and maintenance. "If you put a price on the emission of greenhouse gases, then forests, as the largest CO2 sinks, should receive some of that money,” added Alois Gerig, forest policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group. Gerig expects an annual premium to start at around 100 euros per hectare. The Bundestag is expected to approve the request on 22 April, writes the newspaper.

Climate action advocates have stressed the need for carbon sink and storage strategy in Europe and Germany. Extreme weather events in Germany have hit the forestry sector hard, resulting in damages of 13 billion euros over the past three years, according to a recent report by the German Forestry Council (DFWR), which represents the country’s forestry industry. Another report showed that four out of five trees have thinning crowns, and around a third of trees are experiencing significant thinning. The agriculture ministry’s Forest Condition Report 2020, which was published in February, showed that more surveyed trees died in 2020 than in any previous year.

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