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Assessing the INDCs’ land use, land use change, and forest emission projections

Forsell, Nicklas, Turkovska, Olga, Gusti, Mykola, Obersteiner, Michael, Elzen, Michel den, Havlik, Petr
Carbon balance and management 2016 v.11 no.1 pp. 26
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, climate, emissions, forests, land use change, uncertainty, Brazil, China, Ethiopia, Indonesia
BACKGROUND: In preparation for the 2015 international climate negotiations in Paris, Parties submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) expressing each countries’ respective post-2020 climate actions. In this paper we assess individual Parties’ expected reduction of emissions/removals from land use, land use change, and forest (LULUCF) sector for reaching their INDC target, and the aggregate global effect on the INDCs on the future development of emission and removals from the LULUCF sector. This has been done through analysis Parties’ official information concerning the role of LULUCF mitigation efforts for reaching INDC targets as presented in National Communications, Biennial Update Reports, and Additional file 1. RESULTS: On the aggregate global level, the Parties themselves perceive that net LULUCF emissions will increase over time. Overall, the net LULUCF emissions are estimated to increase by 0.6 Gt CO₂e year⁻¹ (range: 0.1–1.1) in 2020 and 1.3 Gt CO₂e year⁻¹ (range: 0.7–2.1) in 2030, both compared to 2010 levels. On the other hand, the full implementation of the INDCs is estimated to lead to a reduction of net LULUCF emissions in 2030 compared to 2010 levels. It is estimated that if all conditional and unconditional INDCs are implemented, net LULUCF emissions would decrease by 0.5 Gt CO₂e year⁻¹ (range: 0.2–0.8) by 2020 and 0.9 Gt CO₂e year⁻¹ (range: 0.5–1.3) by 2030, both compared to 2010 levels. The largest absolute reductions of net LULUCF emissions (compared to 2010 levels) are expected from Indonesia and Brazil, followed by China and Ethiopia. CONCLUSIONS: The results highlights that countries are expecting a significant contribution from the LULUCF sector to meet their INDC mitigation targets. At the global level, the LULUCF sector is expected to contribute to as much as 20% of the full mitigation potential of all the conditional and unconditional INDC targets. However, large uncertainties still surround how Parties estimate, project and account for emissions and removals from the LULUCF sector. While INDCs represent a new source of land-use information, further information and updates of the INDCs will be required to reduce uncertainty of the LULUCF projections.