France’s strategy promotes measures to combat carbon leakage, which may include the introduction of carbon pricing at EU borders under the EU’s Green New Deal and improved mainstreaming of sustainable development issues in trade agreements.
Switzerland’s transition to net zero will be carried out in a socially and economically acceptable way, and improve environmental quality.
The UNFCCC Secretariat has published France’s and Switzerland’s long-term low-emission development strategies (LEDS), in which the two countries outline pathways to net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.
France’s LEDS titled, ‘National Low Carbon Strategy,’ or Stratégie Nationale Bas-Carbone (SNBC), describes the country’s “ecological and inclusive transition towards carbon neutrality.” Along with the National Adaptation to Climate Change Plan, this mitigation strategy forms France’s two-pronged climate policy.
To reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and to reduce the country’s carbon footprint, the SNBC provides guidelines for the transition to a low-carbon economy in the following sectors: buildings, transport, agriculture, forestry and soils, energy production, industry, and waste. In so doing, it sets five-year carbon budgets until 2033.
To achieve carbon neutrality, France’s strategy aims to:
- make energy production fully carbon-free by 2050;
- halve energy consumption through energy efficiency of installations and “more moderate” lifestyles;
- drastically reduce non-energy emissions, including by 38% compared to 2015 in the farming sector and by 60% compared to 2015 in industrial processes; and
- increase and safeguard carbon sinks such as soils and forests, and promote carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies and products from the bio-economy.
To reduce France’s carbon footprint, the strategy promotes measures to combat carbon leakage, which may include the introduction of carbon pricing at EU borders under the EU’s Green New Deal and improved mainstreaming of sustainable development issues in trade agreements by, inter alia, making the ratification of and compliance with the Paris Agreement on climate change an essential clause in future trade agreements. The SNBC identifies cross-disciplinary consideration of sustainable development issues in trade agreements as an “area of concern.”
Switzerland’s LEDS titled, ‘Switzerland’s Long-Term Climate Strategy,’ “outlines the path to the net zero goal” by 2050. It covers the buildings, industry, transport, food and agriculture, financial market, waste, synthetic gases, and international aviation sectors, and sets out strategic goals for each.
The strategy is guided by ten strategic principles:
- Switzerland will take advantage of the opportunities presented by a systematic transition to net zero;
- Switzerland will assume its climate policy responsibility;
- Priority will be given to reducing domestic emissions;
- Emissions will be reduced across entire value chains;
- All energy sources will be used effectively taking account of their optimal usage potential;
- The Swiss Confederation and the cantons will gear their planning activities to net zero in all climate-relevant areas;
- The transition to net zero will be carried out in a socially acceptable way;
- The transition to net zero will be achieved in an economically viable way;
- The transition to net zero will improve environmental quality; and
- The Long-Term Climate Strategy is based on openness to all types of technology.
The strategy states that by pursuing the goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050, Switzerland “is keeping pace with its most important trading partner,” the EU, which also intends to become carbon-neutral by 2050, and with other countries that have already adopted legally binding net-zero targets or have pledged to do so. These countries, the LEDS notes, include France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, and the UK. China and Brazil aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.
France communicated the second edition of the SNBC on 8 February 2021. Switzerland communicated its strategy on 28 January 2021. Thirty parties to the UNFCCC have now submitted their LEDS to the Secretariat. [Publication: National Low Carbon Strategy: The Ecological and Inclusive Transition Towards Carbon Neutrality (France)] [Summary of France’s National Low Carbon Strategy] [Overview of France’s National Low Carbon Development Strategy] [Publication: Switzerland’s Long-Term Climate Strategy] [UNFCCC Long-Term Strategies Website]