Supporting climate action with carbon budgets

5 December 2018

Last month the EU decided to introduce carbon budgets and in response more than 15 regions and municipalities in Sweden are budgeting to decrease emissions.


In order not to adversely affect the climate, we can only release a limited amount of carbon dioxide and those emissions should be distributed fairly.

In cooperation with the Climate Change Leadership node at Uppsala University, Ramboll has developed carbon budgets for local governing bodies in Sweden. In November municipalities, regions and interested parties met with Ramboll to dig deeper into this subject and present their budgets.

"The day had a strong focus on environmental equity,” says Lars Johansson, responsible for the Carbon budgets at Ramboll Sweden. “Opportunities and challenges were discussed freely, and participants expressed a wish to continue networking and exchanging experiences. It was also evident that, for example, transport and tourism are bigger challenges than heating."

Can be adapted in other countries

Ten municipalities have received their local carbon budgets. Up next are two regions and county boards. Then it will then be possible to submit entries for the next round. The method for obtaining local budgets is currently held by Uppsala University but it will eventually be used by Ramboll and a composite collaborating working group. The method is based on Swedish statistics but can be adjusted and adapted to suit other countries.

“There’s been great interest and I would be surprised if the number of submissions for the next round doesn’t increase significantly. Carbon budgets can be a great help and a starting point for change in municipalities. They are also good tools for those who wish to take local initiatives together with residents, industry and the public sector", says Lars Johansson.

Kevin Anderson, British Professor in Energy and Climate Change, talked at the meeting at Ramboll about the need of changing behaviours and breaking status standards. He said that if 10 per cent of the population accounts for 50 per cent of the emissions and those 10 per cent consist of privileged persons from developed countries, then above all we must change our behaviour in everything from what we buy and what we own.

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