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

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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.
  • Renewable energy use, as a proportion of final energy consumption, is higher in Iceland and Norway than in any EU Member State.

 

8.1 Greenhouse gas emissions

8.2 Renewable energy

8.3 Energy efficiency

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

Notes: Projections display total GHG emissions excluding LULUCF and international aviation. Solid lines represent historical values, while dashed lines represent WEM projections.

Values shown for Iceland include inventory data, taking into account total CO2 emissions from industrial processes. Iceland excluded these emissions for compliance in the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

Norway's INDC includes emissions and removals from LULUCF, which are not shown in this figure.

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

8.2 Renewable energy

The RED is a text with 'EEA relevance', i.e. it is relevant to member countries of the European Economic Area (not to be confused with the European Environment Agency). In accordance with the RED, Iceland and Norway submitted NREAPs to the European Commission with 2020 targets and details of development steps.

Iceland's 2020 target for RES under the RED was set at 72 % of gross final energy consumption [3], while the national target under the NREAP was set at 76.8 % by 2020 (see Table 8.1). Although these targets are higher than for most Member States, they are also lower than current levels. In 2015, the proportion of RES use already amounted to 70 % and exceeded its 2020 target. This is because of the exceptional potential for hydropower and geothermal energy in this country. These energy sources are mainly used for district heating and the production of electricity.

Norway's indicative RED trajectory target for 2020 is that renewable energy should account for 68 % of gross final energy consumption. Norway is ahead of its indicative RED target for 2015-2016 and its anticipated NREAP trajectory for 2015. In 2015, renewable energy accounted for 69 % of gross final energy consumption in Norway and, therefore, in this year, Norway had already exceeded its 2020 RES target by one percentage point.

No information is available from EU sources on the proportions of RES use and targets for Liechtenstein, Switzerland or Turkey.

Table 8.1 Iceland and Norway's progress on renewable energy

Country

2015 share
of RES (%)

2020 target
under the RED
(%)

2020 target
under NREAP
(%)

Distance to 2020
target in 2015
(percentage points)

Iceland

70.19

64.0 (a)

76.8

6.2

Norway

69.43

67.5

67.5

1.9

 

Note: NREAP, national renewable energy action plan; RED, Renewable Energy Directive; RES, renewable energy source.

(a) Although Iceland indicates in its 2014 NREAP that it assumes a national overall target of 72 % for the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final energy consumption as its target for 2020 under the RED, a 64 % RES target by 2020 is mentioned as the binding target for Iceland in Annex IV (Energy) of the Agreement on the European Economic Area.

Sources: EFTA, 2016; EU, 2009; Eurostat, 2017d; Iceland, 2014; Norway, 2013.

8.3 Energy efficiency

Statistics on energy consumption are available from the European Commission for Iceland, Norway and Turkey. Between 1990 and 2014, primary energy consumption increased in these three countries, although to greatly varying extents (from 7 % in Norway to 51 % in Iceland); over the same period, primary energy consumption in the EU increased by 12 % (Eurostat, 2017b, 2017c). Although Norway and Turkey experienced a relatively steady increase over the whole period, Iceland experienced a pronounced jump in primary energy consumption after 2005. Between 2005 and 2014, the primary energy consumption of Iceland, Norway and Turkey increased by 88 %, 8 % and 46 %, respectively.

In Switzerland, final energy consumption decreased by 10 % between 2005 and 2014 (IEA, 2016).

Figure 8.2 Primary energy consumption in Iceland, Norway and Turkey, 1990-2015

Sources: Eurostat, 2017b, 2017c.

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Footnotes


[1] Including emissions and removals from LULUCF.

[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.

[3] Although Iceland indicates in its 2014 NREAP that it assumes a national overall target of 72 % for the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final energy consumption of energy as its target for 2020 under the RED, a 64 % RES target by 2020 is mentioned as the binding target for Iceland in Annex IV (Energy)of the Agreement on the European Economic Area.

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