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Jump start: accelerating net zero commitments

Neil Mearns Senior Writer

With the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting having just taken place on 21-24 January, there has been increased focus on global sustainability. In this Perspective, we take stock of the countries and companies that are accelerating net zero commitments a decade or more ahead of the widely held 2050 target. Overtaking Prior to the annual meeting in Davos, the WEF published The Net-Zero Challenge: Global Climate Action at a Crossroads (Part 1) on 11 December 2019. The two-part series assesses the state of global climate action through the lens of corporations, governments and civil society. It covers countries with net zero ambitions to date, either written into law or as a policy position (see Figure 1). Pole position Nordic countries, as the WEF reference in their report, have “been among the few to take truly decisive steps”. Norway, in its Climate Strategy for 2030, published in June 2017, stated its conditional commitment to reduce its emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared with the 1990 level. The strategy presented a “transformational approach” within a European cooperation framework. The Finnish government first announced its country’s plan to be carbon neutral by 2035 in June 2019. Five coalition parties agreed on the target, which was championed by incoming Prime Minister Antti Rinne. The country will tighten its emissions reduction obligation for 2030 to at least 55% below the 1990 emissions level. It will also carry out an assessment of its carbon neutrality target in 2025. As part of the sustainable development tax reform, the Finnish government will carry out a ...

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