The rapid development of climate policies and the need to understand the dynamics of climate change have highlighted and shaped the role of land use, land-use change and forestry dynamics (LULUCF), making it an issue of global importance. As a consequence, LULUCF has become a central topic in economic theory and in environmental sciences. The attention is focused on creating and expanding comprehensive global land-use datasets and on improving the modelling strategies allowing for an extensive representation of the land-use system. However, this is a relatively new research field and the development of this challenging process is likely to require greater effort in the years to come. By adopting a straightforward model classification, this paper provides a broad, but detailed, overview of the most representative methods and models developed to date. This summary will guide a critical discussion on relevant methodological aspects related to the global modelling of land use and its changes. An additional focus is placed on the representation of forest-carbon sequestration within climate mitigation, which represents one of the most demanding issues from a modelling perspective.