The carbon (C) sinks and sources of trees that may be accounted for under Article 3.3 of the Kyoto Protocol during the first commitment period from 2008 to 2012 were estimated for the countries of the European Union (EU) based on existing forest inventory data. Two sets of definitions for the accounted activities, afforestation, reforestation and deforestation, were applied. Applying the definitions by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the trees were estimated to be a C source in eight and a C sink in seven countries, and in the whole EU a C source of 5.4 Tg year-1. Applying the definitions by the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC), the trees were estimated to be a C source in three and a C sink in 12 countries, and in the whole EU a C sink of 0.1 Tg year-1. These estimates are small compared with the C sink of trees in all EU forests, 63 Tg year-1, the anthropogenic CO2 emissions of the EU, 880 Tg C year-1, and the reduction target of the CO2 emissions, 8%. In individual countries, the estimated C sink of the trees accounted for under Article 3.3 was at largest 8% and the C source 12% compared with the CO2 emissions.
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