This data tracker analyses the Nordic countries’ progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. The goal is comprised of 5 targets.
The Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – are classified into one of five categories for each target:
Met: The country has already met the 2030 target.
On track: The country has not yet met the target but is on track to do so by 2030.
Short distance: The country has not met the target and is not projected to do so but is close to achieving it. This category also applies when the country currently meets the target but is projected to move away from it.
Long distance but progressing: The country is far from the target but is making progress towards it.
Long distance and not progressing: The country is far from the target and is not making progress towards reaching it.
Details on the methodology used, together with the overall assessment for all 17 goals, can be found on our overview page. Note that the analysis is currently work in progress.
Overall assessment of progress
As of mid-2023, this is our assessment of the Nordic countries progress on the 5 targets part of SDG 13:
The Nordic countries’ performance on the different targets part of this goal can be explored further below. Each section follows the same structure:
- First, the official target text and related indicators is described and the latest global and regional trends are highlighted briefly.
- Second, where data is available, we then zoom in on the Nordic countries to describe how they are progressing, and assess their likelihood of achieving the target by the 2030 deadline.
- Note that both sections above strictly uses data from the UN SDG Global Database and/or the OECD.
Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
|13.1.1||Number of deaths, missing persons and directly affected persons attributed to disasters per 100,000 population|
|13.1.2||Number of countries that adopt and implement national disaster risk reduction strategies in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030|
|13.1.3||Proportion of local governments that adopt and implement local disaster risk reduction strategies in line with national disaster risk reduction strategies|
Building resilience to disasters and shocks remains a key priority, particularly for the poor and vulnerable. The UN 2023 report highlights that, despite a progressive decline in disaster-related mortality, the number of people affected by disasters per 100,000 population has increased from 1,198 during 2005–2015 to 2,113 in the 2012–2021 period, excluding cases related to COVID-19. Between 2015 and 2021, an average of 151 million people globally were affected by disasters each year.
Least developed countries (LDCs), small island developing States (SIDS), and landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) face higher vulnerability to disasters, with mortality rates of 1.24, 2.80, and 1.85, respectively, from 2012–2021.
In the face of these challenges, it becomes increasingly crucial to adopt and implement national and local disaster risk reduction strategies, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, to build resilience and reduce vulnerability. As of the end of 2022 126 countries had implemented national disaster risk reduction strategies in accordance to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. This is an increase from 55 countries in 2015. Out of the 126 countries adopting national-level strategies, 102 had also done so at local government levels.
Data on the Nordic countries for indicator 13.1.1 is limited, which makes cross-country comparability difficult.
Finland and Norway are the only Nordic countries to have implemented national disaster reduction strategies in line with the Sendai Framework. Norway has a score of 0.98 for its level of implementation (0.0 lowest – 1.0 highest) with Finland at 0.75. In Finland, 100% of all local governments have implemented local strategies in line with the national strategy, with 98% of all local governments in Norway doing so.
Long distance to target, not progressing
Long distance to target but progressing
Long distance to target, not progressing
Target is met
Long distance to target, not progressing
Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
|13.2.1||Number of countries with nationally determined contributions, long-term strategies, national adaptation plans and adaptation communications, as reported to the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change|
|13.2.2||Total greenhouse gas emissions per year|
The Paris Agreement sets out a goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels (1850-1900). The latest data shows that the global mean temperature rise was at 1.1 above pre-industrial levels. Under the Paris Agreement each Party to the agreement is required to establish a climate action plan, called a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which is to be updated every five years. As of 2023, a total of 194 parties had submitted such NDCs, and 17 parties had submitted their second updated NDC.
The latest UNFCCC report shows a modest 0.3% decrease in GHG emissions by 2030 from Paris Agreement pledges, vastly insufficient to be on the IPCC’s 1.5°C pathway. This would lead to a potential 2.5°C warming by the end of the century.
In 2020 total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden were around 45-55 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents. Over the last decades, Denmark, Finland and Sweden have all managed significant emission reductions, albeit from a higher starting level than Norway and Iceland. In Iceland, emission levels have been stable at around 4-5 million tonnes per year.
In all the Nordics emission intensity both per capita and per unit of GDP has decreased over the past decades. Across both indicators, Iceland has the highest emission levels and Sweden the lowest.
Notwithstanding the importance of the target, an assessment of progress is not performed as relevant end target values will depend on national circumstances and adopted policies.
Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning
|13.3.1||Extent to which (i) global citizenship education and (ii) education for sustainable development are mainstreamed in (a) national education policies; (b) curricula; (c) teacher education; and (d) student assessment|
There is ongoing work to develop the indicator used to measure progress towards this target. Each of the four components of the indicator (policies, curricula, teacher education, and student assessment), are measured by a range of criteria which taken together are given a score between 0 and 1, where 1 entails full mainstreaming of the Global Citizenship Education (GCED) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). As of 2022, no data is currently available at the global or regional level.
At a Nordic level, Denmark, Finland and Sweden took part in the first round of measuring this indicator (2017-2020). The data showed that as of now, only Sweden has fully mainstreamed GCED and ESD into their national education policies.
Given the lack of data over time, no trend assessment is given for this indicator. New data is set to be released during 2024.
Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible
|13.a.1||Amounts provided and mobilized in United States dollars per year in relation to the continued existing collective mobilization goal of the $100 billion commitment through to 2025|
The latest data for 2020 shows that while climate finance levels have increased, the total amount is still approximately $17 billion short of the $100 billion target. Note that the initial target was to achieve $100 billion annually in climate finance for developing countries by 2020, the target deadline has been extended to 2025.
Target not assessed at country level.
Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing States, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities
|13.b.1||Number of least developed countries and small island developing States with nationally determined contributions, long-term strategies, national adaptation plans and adaptation communications, as reported to the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change|
Insufficient data to analyse trends at the global or regional level.
Target not applicable to the Nordic countries.