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Five Years After Paris, CNC Leads on Decarbonisation

By 12 December 2020February 5th, 2021No Comments

Around the Climate Ambition Summit, members of the Carbon Neutrality Coalition (CNC) put forward plans to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 at the latest and set new short-term targets to back up these ambitious goals. 

In a sign of growing momentum around reaching global carbon neutrality: 

  • New long-term strategies from Austria, Denmark, Finland, Korea, the Netherlands, NorwaySpain, Sweden, Switzerland lay out pathways to reach climate neutrality. Several more governments have signaled they are in the process of finalizing their LTS and will submit soon 
  • Colombia put forward a new target to reduce emissions 51% by 2030 to support its 2050 carbon neutrality goal. 
  • Denmark announced an end to oil and gas extraction in the North Sea by 2050 and canceled future licensing rounds.  
  • New Zealand declared a climate emergency and committed to a climate neutral government by 2025.  
  • The UK set one of the world’s most ambitious 2030 targets, with a goal to decrease emissions at least 68% from 1990 levels. Prime Minister Boris Johnson also announced the UK will end funding for fossil fuel projects overseas.  
  • Canada put forward new legislation to the Canadian parliament to set five-yearly carbon targets from 2030 to 2050, ultimately reaching net zero by 2050. Prime Minister Trudeau also announced plans to increase Canada’s carbon price to $170 per tonne in 2030 ($15/year increase from 2022) in order to achieve greater emissions reductions. 
  • Other announcements: Latvia and Belgium also put forward net zero long-term strategies, and The Gambia presented a long-term low carbon vision to 2046. 

CNC members also stressed that these long-term targets are driving decisions and actions today, as illustrated by this fact sheet. 

In the five years since the Paris Agreement was finalized, net zero has clearly become the global benchmark for long-term climate ambition. More than 120 countries have pledged to reach net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, along with thousands of cities, states and regions, businesses, and investors under the Race to Zero campaign. Including the incoming US administration, more than 60% of global CO2 emissions are now covered by net zero pledges.  



“Science tells us that we must reach net-zero emissions by 2050 to ensure our kids and grandkids can live in a world with clean air and water. Canada recently tabled historic legislation in our Parliament that mandates that the government of today, and every future government must continue down a pathway to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Moving towards clean growth will help Canadian businesses maintain and gain a competitive edge by producing the low-carbon products the world wants to buy, well into the future. It will also send an important signal to the world that Canada is serious about climate action and is a good place for businesses to invest.” – The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Canada 

“Carbon neutrality by 2050 is the ambitious goal that Chile has committed to, in accordance with the science. This goal means investments in the order of 40 to 50 billion USD hat will result in net benefits of around 30 billion. These benefits increase by a factor of five once the social and environmental benefits associated with reducing GHG emissions are taken into account.  

At the macroeconomic level, Chile reaching carbon neutrality could bring an increase of 4.4% of GDP by 2050, which is a clear demonstration that decarbonisation accelerates and enhances sustainable development and growth” 

We call all parties to deliver on their commitments under the Paris Agreement – most importantly, the submission of more ambitious NDCs this year, 2020, and the development of an ambitious post-2020 framework.” – Carolina Schmidt Zalidívar, Minister of the Environment, Chile 

“Five years have passed since the historical moment in Paris, and yet the 1.5 degree target is still eluding us. Denmark is determined to chart a different path.  

We want to leave a fossil free future for coming generations and be climate neutral by 2050. We therefore commit to turn off the oil and gas valves by 2050, cancel all future licensing rounds and take steps to ensure a just transition for impacted workers. We invite all other countries to join us as we embark on this endeavor.” – Dan Jørgensen, Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, Denmark 

“Finland aims to become climate neutral by 2035 and have negative net emissions soon after that. These targets are reflected in the Long-term Strategy we submitted to the UNFCCC in October. We are also harnessing our economic recovery measures from COVID-19 to support the implementation of climate policy targets and wish to work with other countries to promote ambitious global climate action.” – Krista Mikkonen, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Finland  

“Our commitment towards zero net emissions in 2050 is fundamental. It will guide all our actions including short-term ones as it implies deep changes in the way we move, we house, we work, we eat, we shop…basically, the way we live. The whole government is committed to this objective, and all ministers have received dedicated climate roadmap signed by our Prime Minister. As you can see, each one of us has to define a concrete action plan implementing our long-term strategy. And the society as a whole as to make this objective its own. With our recovery plan and 30 billion euros dedicated to green transition, added to the law we are preparing on the basis of the proposals from our national climate citizen convention, we want to start changing our society now!” – Barbara Pompili, Minister for the Ecological Transition, France 

“I am proud that with its Federal Climate Change Act, Germany has enshrined legally binding mitigation targets as well as an annual monitoring and control mechanism into law. It also determines GHG neutrality by 2050 as our long-term goal. The Climate Change Act involves all ministries in a joint effort to reduce GHG emissions. Every German ministry is a climate ministry now.” – Svenja Schulze, Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany  

“The 2050 net zero goal should not end up as a mere declaration. We must achieve it and I am sure we can.  

The global race to zero emissions is accelerating. A great competition has begun to get a head start on supremacy in technological innovations, markets and investments toward decarbonization. 

As we enter a whole new level of efforts for decarbonization, the entire government of Japan will work as one to achieve that goal to provide a fulfilling and prosperous way of life to all.” – Shinjirō Koizumi, Minister of the Environment, Japan 

Some say the transformation to a low-carbon future must start. I say it has already started. The decisions we make today determine how our society will look in 2050. Long term planning is vital to ensure that everyone is pulling in the same direction.” – Sveinung Rotevatn, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway 

“Science is clear: climate neutrality by 2050 is a must if we are to keep climate change below 1.5ºC, there is no doubt. Governments have the responsibility to put in place ambitious short-term actions which are consistent with this long-term vision. This transition is a win-win strategy for the planet but also for the people and the economy. Let´s make the most of it already now, there is no time to wait.” – Teresa Ribera RodríguezVice President of the Government and Minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Spain  

“The future is fossil-free. But we cannot depend on future innovations to solve the problems we face today. Therefore, we need continued measures that speed up the climate transition and reduce emissions in the near future. Sweden’s target is to have net zero emissions at the latest by 2045, and thereafter negative emissions. A green recovery from the COVID crisis can accelerate the transition to climate neutrality. We are a proud member of the Carbon Neutrality Coalition, and hope to see more members joining.” – Isabella Lövin, Minister for Environment and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister, Sweden 

“Tackling climate change is one of the most urgent shared endeavours of our lifetimes, demanding bold action from every nation to prevent catastrophic global warming.  

As a country, we have demonstrated we can both rapidly cut carbon emissions, while creating new jobs, new technologies and future-proof industries that will generate economic growth for decades to come.  

The UK’s new emissions target is among the highest in the world and reflects the urgency and scale of the challenge our planet faces. I hope other countries join us and raise the bar at the Climate Ambition Summit, and ahead of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow next year.” – Alok Sharma, UK Business and Energy Secretary and COP26 President