CICERO - Center for International Climate Research

15 Nordic solutions can cut 4 gigatons of global emissions

News - News from CICERO

Published 19.11.2016

By scaling up just 15 proven Nordic solutions, countries all over the world can save 4 Gt of emissions every year by 2030 which is as much as the EU produces today. The costs for this scale-up equal the amount spent in just 9 days on fossil fuel subsidies.

These results come from the Nordic Green to Scale study which was launched during the UN Climate Conference in Marrakech.

Check out all the 15 solutions here.

The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra has partnered with the Nordic Council of Ministers and distinguished institutions from all Nordic countries to answer a simple question: how far could we go simply by scaling up existing Nordic low-carbon solutions to a level of adoption in 2030 that has already been achieved by one or more Nordic countries today.

CICERO performed the technical analysis behind the report.

“We have to work fast in order to achieve the goals set in the Paris agreement. This Nordic study shows that there are already plenty of proven low-carbon solutions available, and at an affordable cost. There is no reason to wait. The time to deliver is now”, said Minister of Agriculture and the Environment of Finland Kimmo Tiilikainen, Chair of the Nordic Council of Ministers for the Environment.

“The main concern decision makers have is that it’s either too difficult or too expensive to rapidly reduce emissions,” says Senior Advisor Oras Tynkkynen, who led the Nordic Green to Scale analysis on behalf of Sitra.

“Our objective with this study is to highlight what different countries have already achieved on climate action and what other countries can learn from their successes. As much as we appreciate the importance of innovation and new technology, there’s no excuse for not taking action today and introducing the solutions that are already available,” Tynkkynen says.

Reductions are needed in all sectors

The Nordic Green to Scale study shows that emission reductions can be reached efficiently in all key sectors: energy, industry, transport, buildings and households, as well as agriculture and forestry. Here are some examples of what these inspiring solutions offer:

  • Urban Danes cycle on an average almost 3 km every day. If other countries followed the example of Denmark and promoted cycling in cities, it would reduce emissions by almost as much as Slovakia produces in a year.
  • In Finland, most of industrial and district heating is provided with energy efficient combined heat and power production (CHP). If other countries used CHP like this, it would reduce emissions by almost as much as Japan produces in a year.
  • Iceland produces almost 30% of its electricity and most of its heat with geothermal energy. If countries with significant geothermal potential started using it like Iceland does, it would reduce emissions by more than Denmark produces in a year.
  • Last year, almost every fourth new car sold in Norway was an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle. If other wealthy countries used as many electric vehicles as Norway does, it would reduce emissions by almost as much as Denmark produces in a year.
  • Sweden has the world’s highest number of heat pumps per population. Scaling up the solution to selected European countries would cut emissions by as much as Cuba produces every year.

In addition to direct emission reductions, the 15 solutions also create considerable co-benefits. These include improved air and water quality, higher energy security, more local jobs, lower fuel bills, less traffic jams, and sustained biodiversity.

Who is behind this study?

Nordic Green to Scale was produced as a joint project of institutions from all five Nordic countries, along with the Climate and Pollution Group of the Nordic Council of Ministers:

CICERO conducted the technical analysis for the report
CONCITO, Denmark
Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, Finland
Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Sweden
University of Iceland Institute for Sustainability Studies, Iceland.

The Nordic Green to Scale study analyses the scale-up of 15 Nordic climate solutions. These 15 add to the selection provided last year by the global Green to Scale project, which showed that by scaling up just 17 proven low-carbon solutions, global emissions could be cut by 12 Gt CO2e by 2030. This global project was completed by Sitra in 2015 with leading climate institutions from 10 different countries.

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