To keep global warming well below 2°C, countries need to both meet their existing emission targets and go beyond them. The Nordic Green to Scale project helps in choosing the concrete low-carbon solutions to do so.
The study looks at 15 existing climate solutions, such as combined heat and power production, onshore and offshore winde powere, carbon capture and storage in oil and gas production, energy efficiency in buildings etc. All solutions have proven to work in the Nordic region. We have estimated the climate impact and costs of scaling them up to other countries. We have also looked at co-benefits of and barriers to these solutions, as well as policies to promote them.
Scaling up the selected Nordic solutions can cut global emissions by 4.1 gigatonnes (GtCO2e) in 2030. The reduction is equal to the current total emissions of the European Union.
The climate impact varies greatly between solutions. The solution with the largest potential is combined heat and power production, which alone could reduce emissions by almost as much as Japan produces every year.
The net cost of implementing all 15 solutions is estimated to be $13 billion in 2030. To put the costs into perspective, scaling up the solutions would equal what countries globally spend on fossil fuel subsidies in just eight days.
The average net abatement cost is 3 $/tCO2e in 2030. This is just half of the current price of allowances in the EU emissions trading system – and much less than the projected prices in 2030. The costs do not include co-benefits such as improved health or ecosystem services. If full benefits were included, the solutions would be significantly cheaper – in some cases turning costs into savings.
This study shows that simply using what we already have can take us a long way in tackling the climate crisis, using the Nordic countries as an example. Countries around the world have a range of proven and attractive low-carbon solutions to choose from.
There is no need to wait. And, more importantly, there is no time to wait. The time for climate action is now.