Each of the five Nordic countries has national goals for becoming carbon neutral before or by mid-century. In the Helsinki Declaration on Carbon Neutrality signed by the Nordic prime ministers on 25 January 2019, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark committed themselves to assessing in 2020 the scenarios for how the different Nordic countries can achieve their respective carbon neutrality goals, including implications for various sectors. The aim of this study is to contribute to making this assessment possible and to highlight areas where co-Nordic initiatives can strengthen the Nordic countries’ aims towards Carbon neutrality.
The Nordic ministers for Environment and Climate decided on April 10 2019 “to initiate a technical study of the Nordic countries’ various carbon and climate neutrality goals focussing om areas, where countries can learn from each other, where countries have common or similar challenges, as well as similarities and differences in plans, as well as which sectors are included in the plans, methods and choice of indicators, etc.”
Five major business federations in the Nordic countries, representing more than 115 000 companies, have backed up the governmental initiative. Furthermore, various industry branches in the Nordics have been preparing, or are in the process of preparing road maps for fossil free or carbon neutral industries. Recently, a global youth movement has underlined the urgency of climate actions, including both the need for political leadership and sustainable consumption choices.
There is not one undisputed definition and recipe for carbon neutrality. Nevertheless, the five Nordic countries recognize that they would all benefit from learning from each other, from exchange of knowledge and experiences on their different roads towards carbon neutrality. The project should briefly summarize the landscape of carbon neutrality definitions being used.
The study “The Road towards Carbon Neutrality in the different Nordic Countries” will focus on existing and planned efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the national scale. It will take into account different starting points and framework conditions, and identify best practices and common challenging areas, where a strengthened Nordic cooperation could support mutual efforts to spur further reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. The study will also include other measures that support Nordic carbon neutrality, such as enhancing of carbon sinks and removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
The project “The Road towards Carbon Neutrality in the different Nordic Countries” should include the following tasks, based on previous, existing and planned efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:
a) To provide a brief overview of the landscape of carbon neutrality definitions being used in the Nordic countries
b) Description of national long-term climate strategies as well as governmental goals and plans for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
c) Mapping of previous, existing and planned efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by sector and country
d) Describe national commonalities and differences, where knowledge sharing can enhance the green transition
e) Focus on common and mutual challenges and highlight areas of Nordic added value to initiatives for joint action
f) Presentation at the Nordic ministerial meeting 30. April and 27. October 2020
g) Produce a thorough overview and study of above mentioned paths, best practices and measures to reach carbon neutrality with clear policy recommendations on the future work with a Nordic added value for joint initiatives.
The contract period is expected to be 31.01.2020 - 31.8.2020.