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Climate politics in Liechtenstein – “Think global, act local”

Liechtenstein has been a member to the Framework Convention on Climate Change since 1994 and a Party to the Kyoto Protocol since 2005. Because of its member status, Liechtenstein is also represented within the international Climate Talks of the United Nations.
Environmental Minister Ms. Renate Müssner and 2010-appointed COP President and former Environmental Minister of Denmark
Ms. Lykke Friis in Copenhagen 2009
In addition, the Principality is also integrated into a currency area with Switzerland and has been a member of the European Economic Area since 1995. This situation requires that Liechtenstein must always consider the realities of both economic areas as well as the international obligations originating from the respective UN-levels when implementing national politics.
This unusual foreign political position also affects the climate policy of Liechtenstein. In order to coordinate the various aspects on a national, European and global level, the Government passed the National Climate Protection Strategy in September 2007. The Strategy establishes a ten-point framework for the future development of a national, as well as international, credible climate policy.
Liechtenstein – An active Player within the UN Climate Talks
Liechtenstein associated itself with the contents of the Copenhagen Accord and agreed that its name be included in the Chapeau of the Accord.
In the context of an ambitious global agreement Liechtenstein intends to achieve a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2020. If other developed countries agree to comparable reductions and emerging economies contribute according to their respective capabilities and responsibilities, Liechtenstein is prepared to raise its target up to 30%. The emission reduction goals mentioned above do not take into account activities from land use, land use change and forestry. With respect to the establishment of a long-term emission reduction goal, Liechtenstein aims at a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 50b% from 1990 levels by 2050. Furthermore, Liechtenstein acknowledges the contributions of the flexible mechanisms of the Kyoto Protol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and supports the international efforts to further improve these mechanisms with respect to administrative efficiency and environmental integrity.
Liechtenstein Delegation, Copenhagen December 2009
National framework

Observed nationally, the Energy Concept 2013 has considerable meaning for the climate policy of Liechtenstein. The reason for this lies in the fact that over 80% of the countrywide emissions involve those from the energy sector. The energy policy goals of the Energy Concept 2013 are to:

  • Exceed the goal of Kyoto, which means lowering greenhouse gas emissions by more than 8% of those in 1990.
  • Conserve energy, especially in space heating, through targeted thermal restoration of building structures.
  • Reduce energy-need increases, especially in space heating, through implementing modern standards (Minergie, etc.) in new constructions.
  • Increase the share of renewable energy carriers on total energy consumption above 10% by 2013, especially through expanded usage of domestic biomass, also in the form of biogas, as well as expanded usage of solar energy.
  • Increase threefold the utilisation of solar energy through thermal solar installations in the next ten years.
  • Raise the production of electrical energy from solar power by a factor of 2.5 using photovoltaics.
  • Continue investments in communal heating with sensible configurations (i.e. with large projects, primarily heat generation and secondarily electricity generation)
  • Provide offensive information and motivation policies via Internet, media and the energy specialist department.
To strengthen these goals, the Government implemented the Energy Efficiency Act in 2008, which superseded the hitherto effective Energy Conservation Act. Regarding the new law’s contents, the respective bias of subsidies should be increased toward countrywide energy efficiency as well as strengthened utilisation of renewable energies. Furthermore, the law regulates the certification and crediting of electricity from renewable energies and cogenerating heat and power installations (Feed-in tariffs).
The law is pushed by the Liechtenstein Initiative Energy Package and hence brings greater publicity.
 Energie Bündel
International framework

In addition to the coordination of energy, transportation, environmental, forestry and agricultural policies, a policy inherent to the Kyoto Protocol is also met. In the event that the reduction obligations of the Kyoto Protocol cannot be fulfilled through national measures, the Government may offset emission reductions from abroad. In this regard, the Climate Protection Strategy guarantees that only high quality emission reduction projects, with particular benefit to the population of the host country, will be realized. Predetermined project types are effectually excluded.

Current project involvement in the Central Asia Region.
Liechtenstein „Country of the Month“
The requirements of the Kyoto Protocol as well as the guidelines of the EU Emissions Trading System and the EU Linking Directive were nationally implemented in Liechtenstein through the Emissions Trading Act.
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