International Day of Forests: carbon certification, adaptation and carbon sink

24 March 2023 - Foreword of the week - By : Julia GRIMAULT

This week, for the International Day of Forests, I4CE offers you an overview of the forestry issues that are being debated in France and in Brussels. In our newsletter, you will discover a new blog post by Julia Grimault on European carbon certification and our latest analyses on the adaptation of French forests to climate change, the French carbon sink and the wood industry. 



Carbon certification: the unlikely alliance


The future European carbon certification framework is under intense debate. The first meeting of the expert group in charge of supporting the Commission has raised criticisms on the composition and mandate of this group, and the discussions have taken an unexpected turn by achieving the feat of bringing NGOs and CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS) industrialists to an agreement against natural carbon sinks, those of our forests or our agricultural soils. Where does this unlikely alliance come from?


First of all, the uncertainty surrounding the purpose of this certification. Will it serve mainly to channel public funds? Or is it a tool for voluntary carbon offsetting by companies, or even for regulatory offsetting in the future European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (Eu ETS)? With the announcement of report to come on the possible integration of CO2 removals into the Eu ETS, it is easy to understand the concern of NGOs, which are always very critical of offsetting, for good reasons.


This concern – at least this is our hypothesis – leads them to be all the more vigilant about the quality of the future certification, especially our ability to correctly account CO2 removals in ecosystems, and to insist on the risks of non-permanence of carbon stored in forests or soils… just like the CCS industry.


Read the full blog post




Recommendations for an European Carbon Certification


To achieve the climate goals of the UE, The European Commission wants to create a carbon certification framework to encourage carbon storage in the land sector. The challenge is to develop a common and harmonised framework at the European level by better relying on the expertise acquired through existing certification frameworks. With this study, I4CE offers 7 recommendations, inspired by both our concrete experience with the French Label Bas-Carbone and by 15 years of research on carbon certification


Read this report




Adapting the French forest: first of all, invest well


Adapting French forests to climate change is becoming an important political issue. On one hand, because, from droughts to fires, the consequences of climate change on forest stands are becoming increasingly visible. On the other hand, adaptation is a prerequisite for forests to play the central role expected from them in climate mitigation. This study, only available in French, explains the financial and human resources needed to adapt French forests.


Read this report




Carbon sink: which wood products to focus on? 


There is a consensus that in order to become carbon neutral, France must develop the production and consumption of ‘long-life’ wood products, i.e. products such as timber frames or wood-based panels that can store carbon over time. I4CE has reviewed these products, the technical constraints on their production, and the possible outlets on the French market, and proposes initial avenues for developing these sectors. Report available in French. 


Read this report




This club, led by I4CE, brings together scientists, public decision-makers, experts, actors of the forestry sector and NGOs to discuss climate issues related to forests and the wood industry, and to develop common tools to promote the implementation of low-carbon projects.


More informations about this Climate club Forest and wood


Read the newsletter

To learn more
  • 03/15/2024 Foreword of the week
    Certification framework: the devil is in the details

    A few days after the conclusion of negotiations on the European Union’s carbon removals certification Framework (CRCF), I4CE helped organise the European Carbon Farming Summit in Valencia, as part of the CREDIBLE project. The high level of stakeholder participation at the summit testifies to the expectations that this new tool will contribute to a better economic valuation of carbon farming practices. The summit raised high hopes for improving and harmonising carbon measurement to certify projects, in particular through remote sensing, in a sector where there is a great deal of uncertainty. While it is vital to improve measurement and monitoring, uncertainty must not be allowed to justify inaction, and the key is to find the right balance between cost and accuracy.

  • 10/30/2023 Foreword of the week
    Wood industry: What are European countries doing?

    Year after year, France becomes aware of the drastic deterioration in the carbon sink of its forests. Tree mortality increases sharply with droughts and health crises. Yet France needs this carbon sink to achieve its climate objectives and needs to preserve it by improving the resilience of its forests, but also – and this is less obvious – by making the best possible use of the harvested wood from the forests. France’s climate strategy is counting heavily on maximising the carbon sink in wood products, i.e. making greater use of the wood harvested to manufacture long-lasting products, particularly in the construction industry. Some products store carbon over the long term, and are not only those that we imagine at first glance, as we showed in a previous study. 

  • 10/27/2023
    Developing long-life wood uses: a look at the German, Romanian and Swedish industries

    Achieving carbon neutrality will require the redirection of harvested wood towards long-life uses. To achieve carbon neutrality, France is relying on its carbon sink to balance residual emissions in 2050. A smaller carbon sink would require even greater emissions reductions from other sectors (transport, agriculture, industry, etc.), sectors in which France is already calling for drastic sixfold cuts between 1990 and 2050. In a context where the carbon sink in ecosystems is already falling sharply due to an increase in tree mortality, preserving this sink and developing carbon storage in wood products must be a major concern of the national climate policy.

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