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Climate change: using EU forests to offset carbon emissions

The EU boasts 182 million hectares of forest, covering 43% of its land area. Forest coverage can vary considerably from one member state to another. In fact just seven countries account for more than 70% of the EU's forested areas: Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and Sweden. Why forests are important Forests provide numerous ecosystem services: they help to protect the soil from erosion, form part of the water cycle, protect biodiversity by providing a habitat for numerous species, and regulate the local climate. Healthy forests are also crucial for fighting global climate change, because they capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The new legislation on the land sector aims to harness this potential as part of the EU's climate policy.

By Mariano Mantel

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