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10. Pathways, challenges, and opportunities in the different sectors in the Nordic countries

The Nordic countries’ total GHG emissions, including the LULUCF sector, have been reduced from 203 million tonnes of CO2e in 1990 to 150 million tonnes of CO2e in 2021, corresponding to a 26% reduction. This overall reduction can primarily be attributed to the emission reductions in the energy sector of 54 million tonnes of CO2e from 1990 to 2021.
However, emissions from industrial processes, domestic transport and agriculture have only fallen slightly in the period, while the LULUCF sector has seen an increase in net emissions by 21 million tonnes of CO2e. Figure 15, below, provides an overview of the total Nordic sectoral emissions.
Figure 15: Territorial GHG emissions in the Nordic countries 1990-2021, split by sector.
In the following chapters, we will take an in-depth look at the GHG emissions in the different sectors in the Nordic countries, the planned pathways to climate neutrality and the challenges associated with these pathways. Finally, each chapter will conclude with a set of recommendations for opportunities for Nordic collaboration. 
In this report, we are looking at five sectors (covering all domestic emissions). With the exception of domestic transport, the sectors follow the definitions in the IPCC Guidelines
IPCC (2019). 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. Buendia, E.C., Tanabe, K., Kranjc, A., Baasansuren, J., Fukuda, M., Ngarize, S., Osako, A., Pyrozhenko, Y., Shermanau, P. & Federici, S. (eds). Published: IPCC, Switzerland. Retrieved from, https://www.ipcc-nggip.iges.or.jp/public/2019rf/index.html
  • Energy
    CRF 1 (except 1A3)
    : the energy sector comprises exploration and exploitation of primary energy sources, including oil and gas production, conversion of primary energy sources into more useable energy forms in refineries and power plants, transmission and distribution of fuels, and use of fuels in stationary and mobile applications (with the exception of emissions related to domestic transport, see below). Emissions arise from these activities by combustion and as fugitive emissions or escape without combustion. 
  • Domestic transport
    CRF 1A3
    : this covers domestic emissions from fuels used for different modes of transportation. Thus, it does not include international shipping and international aviation.
  • Industrial processes
    CRF 2
    : This covers GHG emissions occurring from industrial processes and from non-energy uses of fossil fuel carbon. The main emission sources are releases from industrial processes that chemically or physically transform materials, such as ammonia and other chemical products manufactured from fossil fuels used as chemical feedstock and the cement industry. Initiatives and pathways in this sector have strong ties to the energy sector. Note that all GHG emissions from energy use in “manufacturing industries and construction” (CRF 1A2) are reported under the energy sector according to the IPCC Guidelines.
  • Waste management
    CRF 5
    : this covers fugitive emissions from landfill, wastewater treatment and similar. Note that all GHG emissions from waste-to-energy, where waste material is used directly as fuel or converted into a fuel, are reported under the energy sector according to the IPCC Guidelines.
  • Agriculture, forestry and other land use
    RF 3 + CRF 4
    : also denoted AFOLU, this sector refers to emissions/sinks from agriculture and changes in territorial land-use. This covers the “Agriculture” and “LULUCF” emissions/sinks in Figure 15 above. Emissions include, for example, nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from all managed soils, CO2 emissions associated with liming and urea application to managed soils, and CH4 emission from livestock (enteric fermentation).
For the sake of comparison across the Nordic countries, a large amount of the emissions data presented is from the country reporting to the UNFCCC (in the Common Reporting Format). The latest data submission provides data on national 2021 GHG emissions. The UNFCCC data is supplemented with national data and projections in the specific sectors and sections, if available and necessary.