The European Union is setting new accounting rules for carbon emissions or removals from land and forestry with its new land use, land use change and forestry regulation (LULUCF). Meanwhile it is also defining sustainability criteria for the use of forest resources in the renewable energy directive. By doing so, the EU is outlining the pace of development for forest-based industries for decades to come. By failing to take a holistic approach and treat these dossiers as separate and distinct issues, the EU is slicing Europe’s bioeconomy up like a piece of salami. The European Parliament discussions on LULUCF should have been an opportunity to boost the role EU forests play in mitigating climate change. But the debate has unfortunately been polarised as one between those asking for a historic cap on the use of forest resources and those calling for a more dynamic model, representative of current levels of forest growth. Lessons can certainly be drawn from this debate.