Having reviewed the contribution of forestry under the Kyoto Protocol, its successor's role is now debated. While Annex I countries are bound to account for afforestation, reforestation and deforestation that have occurred since 1990, few countries have adopted cap and trade schemes that put a price on carbon while at the same time allowing forestry offsets to reduce the costs of meeting the cap. The EU ETS, by far the world's largest attempt to cut GHG emissions, specifically rules out land-use change and forestry in reducing compliance.
The continued opposition to the incorporation of LULUCF by EU ETS presently, as well as after 2012, has been a dampener on the role of forestry. The European Union (Europa, 2008) cites the liability risks created by the temporary and reversible nature of forestry to member states in covering a company-based trading system. The EU is also unhappy about the veracity of LULUCF monitoring and reporting, and the effect on the transparency and simplicity of incorporating LULUCF in its ETS. 'Moreover, the sheer quantity of potential credits entering the system could undermine the functioning of the carbon market unless their role were limited, in which case their potential benefits would become marginal' (Europa, 2008: Para. 23).
The potential for forestry to contribute to climate change mitigation (as detailed in Chapter 1), by forest management as well as A/R, will remain unrealized until the introduction of cap and trade schemes by countries with potential for carbon sequestration. Forestry is set to play a large future role, and possibly a crucial one, in the domestic climate change policies of Australia, the US and New Zealand, and other countries with extensive land resources.
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