Austria, Belgium, Denmark, the Republic of Korea, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden have communicated their long-term low greenhouse gas (GHG) emission development strategies (LEDS) to the UNFCCC, bringing the total number of LEDS to 28. According to the Paris Agreement on climate change, “all Parties should strive to formulate and communicate long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies” to the UNFCCC by 2020.

Austria’s LEDS presents a vision of becoming climate-neutral “by no later than 2050.” According to the document, this will require “a comprehensive transformation” of the economy along the economic, social, and environmental “pillars of sustainability” through GHG emissions reduction as well as resource saving, sustainable and innovative technologies, and a circular economy. The LEDS outlines actions in the areas of mitigation and adaptation, renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as energy storage systems, industry, transport, and buildings, among other sectors.

Belgium’s strategy (submitted in French) outlines measures to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 across sectors, adaptation actions, and cross-cutting goals of ensuring a socially just transition, a secure and sufficient supply of sustainable and affordable energy, and a circular economy through innovation and research and development, and investment and finance.

Denmark’s ‘Climate Programme 2020’ lays out the government’s approach to reaching climate neutrality “by 2050 at the latest.” The strategy states the government “will work to ensure an ambitious effort for climate adaptation and resilience, as well as for sustainable development” by promoting more ambitious climate and environmental goals, including for the trade policy in the EU and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The key steps “towards a sustainable and green society” outlined in the ‘2050 Carbon Neutral Strategy of the Republic of Korea’ include expanding the use of clean power and hydrogen across all sectors, improving energy efficiency, commercial deployment of carbon removal and other “future technologies,” scaling up the circular economy to improve industrial sustainability, and enhancing carbon sinks. The document presents visions and strategies by sector, including energy, industry, transport, buildings, agriculture, and waste. Among mitigation measures that “will provide an opportunity for sustainable development,” the strategy highlights Korea’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) and efforts to transition to green energy.

Latvia’s long-term strategy integrates climate change mitigation and adaptation goals in all sectors of the economy, and aims to increase the country’s economic competitiveness and to ensure a safe living environment for its citizens. The document envisions a periodic evaluation of progress to ensure achievement of the strategy’s objectives.   

The Netherlands’ ‘Long term strategy on climate mitigation’ suggest that climate become a cornerstone of the EU’s foreign, trade, and development relations and that signing the Paris Agreement on climate change “become an essential precondition for new trade agreements with countries outside the EU.”

Norway’s strategy contains a vision for a low-emission society and a global low-emission development pathway, and highlights efforts to include youth – “adults in 2050” – in the formulation of this vision. It outlines Norway’s circumstances, opportunities, and challenges across sectors, including development of a diversified economy and green competitiveness, and climate-smart cities and communities.

Spain’s long-term strategy (submitted in Spanish) envisions a modern, competitive, and climate-neutral economy by 2050. Its “triple objective” is to comply with the Paris Agreement, plan a comprehensive transition to climate-neutral economy and society, and maximize the opportunities derived from the energy transition.

Among Sweden’s efforts to fulfill its long-term strategy for reducing GHG emissions, its LEDS highlights the target of reducing emissions from domestic transport (excluding domestic aviation, covered by the EU ETS) by at least 70% by 2030 compared with 2010.

In submitting their LEDS, the nine countries join Benin (in French), CanadaCosta Rica, the Czech Republic, the EUFijiFranceGermanyJapan, the Marshall IslandsMexicoPortugalSingapore, Slovakia, South Africa, the US, the UK, and Ukraine. [UNFCCC Long-Term Strategies Website]