EU plugs sinks research before climate talks

CarboEurope programme investigates EU potential for forest carbon absorption

European research commissioner Philippe Busquin last week reaffirmed the potential for the EU's carbon sinks to absorb up to 30% of industrial emissions. Mr Busquin was presenting the latest results of the CarboEurope research initiative in Seville, Spain, ahead of global climate change talks beginning in India tomorrow, where sinks will be a key agenda item.

The CarboEurope programme unites 160 research institutions in 20 countries working on 15 projects assessing the usefulness of sinks in meeting Kyoto protocol objectives (EED 16/11/01). Results to date show that semi-natural highly biodiverse forests absorb the most carbon. Old-growth forests, however, remain carbon sinks and should therefore enjoy more protection.

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