Integrating regional carbon budgets into regional climate policy
The project contributes to increased knowledge about Swedish counties' role in transitioning to a fossil-free society. This is done by the project and three selected counties examining the integration of carbon budget targets into the regional climate policy and broader regional policy goals and strategies.
The urgency to accelerate and considerably upscale Sweden’s transition efforts places significant pressure on the regional level of decision-making. Consequently, there has been a growing bottom-up interest in estimating carbon budgets for Swedish counties to better understand what mitigation targets are necessary to meet the Paris Agreement commitments. A set of regional carbon budgets has been developed by the Climate Change Leadership (CCL) node in the research programme Natural Resources and Sustainable Development (NRHU) at the Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University. Such carbon budgets allow Swedish counties to formulate more realistic targets for the rapid, yet sustainable, transition to a carbon-neutral society. They also prompt communication and stimulate discussions on local policies and targets between a wide range of stakeholders. The project’s point of departure consists of regional carbon budgets developed by the CCL team for Västra Götaland, Västerbotten, and Östergötland Counties. These three counties represent different levels of engagement with the carbon budgets, thus enriching the comparative exercise of the study. The overall purpose of this project is two-fold: 1) to assist the selected Swedish counties in the process of integrating ambitious carbon budget targets into the regional climate policy and into broader regional public policy goals and strategies; 2) contribute to a better understanding of the role counties can play in accelerating the transition to a carbon-neutral society.