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8. Trends and projections in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey

Page Last modified 13 Nov 2017
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  • Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey are member countries of the EEA but not of the EU. These countries share a number of environmental commitments with EU Member States, either under international conventions or by direct participation in EU policies.
  • None of these countries has achieved substantial emission reductions since 1990. For some, GHG emissions have actually increased significantly.


8.1 Greenhouse gas emissions

8.2 Renewable energy (coming November 23rd)

8.3 Energy efficiency (coming November 23rd)

8.1 Greenhouse gas emissions

Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey are all Annex I countries in the UNFCCC. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway also have a closer association with the EU for a number of commitments to reduce GHG emissions. In particular:

  • Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have been participating in the ETS since 2008.
  • Iceland decided to jointly fulfill commitments of the EU and its Member States to the UNFCCC in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, i.e. to reduce its GHG emissions by 20 % by 2020, compared with 1990 levels. As an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) for the post-2020 agreement under the UNFCCC, Iceland has submitted its commitment to reduce GHG emissions by 40 % by 2030 compared with 1990 levels. It intends to fulfill this commitment jointly with the EU; the details of collective delivery are yet to be determined (Iceland, 2015).
  • Norway and Iceland have expressed their intention to participate in the joint action taking place in the EU to reduce emissions from sectors covered under the Effort Sharing legislation. For the Effort Sharing legislation period from 2021 to 2030, Norway has stated that it intends to fully participate in the reduction effort for the Effort Sharing sectors. As Member States' targets range from 0 % to -40 % on the basis of GDP per capita, Norway would be attributed an estimated numerical reduction target of 40 % below 2005 levels, and flexibility mechanisms will be available for Norway and Iceland as for Member States. Final targets for Iceland and Norway will be determined only when the European Commission's proposal on a new Effort Sharing legislation is adopted (EC, 2016g).

Historical GHG emissions in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey followed very different trends between 1990 and 2015. Updated information on emission projections was available only for Norway (see Figure 8.1).

Iceland also set a long-term GHG mitigation target of between 50 % and 75 % by 2050 compared with GHG emissions in 1990. In 2015, Iceland's emissions had increased by 28 % compared with 1990 levels. Therefore, Iceland does not currently seem to be on track to reach its target for 2020.

Liechtenstein also aims to emit at least 40 % less GHG emissions in 2030 compared with 1990 (Liechtenstein, 2015). To attain this target, Liechtenstein has also set itself a sectoral goal: GHG emissions from the energy sector will decrease by 20 % between 1990 and 2020. In 2015, Liechtenstein's emissions were 13 % lower than in 1990. Additional efforts are therefore necessary if Liechtenstein is to reach its 2020 target. For 2030, Liechtenstein has committed to reduce its GHG emissions by 40 % compared with 1990, under the UNFCCC [1].

Norway's target is to reduce its GHG emissions by 30 % in 2020 compared with 1990. According to its INDC (Norway, 2015), Norway aims to reduce its GHG emissions by at least 40 % by 2030, compared with 1990 [2]. Norway also aims to reduce emissions by the equivalent of 100 % of its own emissions by 2030, thus becoming climate neutral. This is to be achieved through emissions trading in the EU, international cooperation on emission reductions, other forms of emissions trading and project-based cooperation. In 2015, GHG emissions had increased by 4 % compared with 1990.

Switzerland's target is to reduce its GHG emissions by 20 % by 2020 compared with 1990. Like Norway, it has also set a more ambitious GHG reduction target of 30 % by 2020 compared with 1990, provided that the international community agrees on a stricter climate policy. For 2030, Switzerland submitted an INDC to the UNFCCC that states its intention to reduce its GHG emissions by 50 % compared with 1990 levels. This target will partly be reached through the use of carbon credits from international mechanisms (Switzerland, 2015). In 2015, emissions in Switzerland were reduced by 10 % compared with 1990 levels.

Turkey has submitted an INDC to the UNFCCC with a 21 % economy-wide cut in GHG emissions by 2030, compared with a business-as-usual scenario (Turkey, 2015). This implies an increase in GHG emissions that is limited to 929 Mt CO2-eq. by 2030. This is nearly five times the emissions of 1990. To reach its national target, Turkey aims to use carbon credits from international market mechanisms. In 2015, Turkey's GHG emissions had increased by 122 % compared with 1990. Since 2013, emissions have been decreasing slightly.

Figure 8.1 Total greenhouse gas emission trends and projections in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey, 1990-2030

Sources: EEA, 2017b; Iceland, 2016; Liechtenstein, 2016; Norway, 2017; Switzerland, 2016; Turkey, 2016.

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[1] Including emissions and removals from LULUCF. > Back

[2] How emissions and removals from LULUCF will be accounted for is to be determined later. Norway's position is that the choice of accounting approach should not change the ambition level compared with when LULUCF is not included. > Back

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