The world is becoming increasingly urbanised and the Nordic countries are no exception. About 85 per cent of the region’s population of 26 million live in cities and urban areas, with Oslo currently the fastest growing major city in Europe. According to the Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives 2016, the progressive climate plans and energy technology options available in Nordic cities could be important drivers for mitigating climate change and moving the world’s energy systems toward carbon-neutrality.
The transition toward a low-carbon energy system is often considered a daunting task, both technologically and economically. Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives 2016 (NETP 2016) has estimated the investments needed to attain carbon neutrality in the Nordic region by 2050. The conclusion is that, while achieving the carbon-neutral scenario outlined in the report will require significantly different investment patterns, decarbonising the region will not cost the world.
The Nordic Prime Ministers have decided to launch a new collaborative programme, Nordic Solutions to Global Challenges, as a direct response to many of the most pressing issues specified in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The initiative will focus on innovative Nordic solutions for carbon-neutral development, sustainable cities, food and welfare, and gender equality. In addition, a new sustainable development programme is under way, aimed at implementing the 2030 Agenda through extensive stakeholder engagement.
The Nordic Green to Scale project has identified fifteen low-carbon solutions that have been successfully implemented in the Nordic region, and analysed their scalability and potential to reduce emissions if they were applied globally. The results will be released at the Nordic Pavilion at the COP 22 conference in Marrakech on 16 November.
In 2011, the Nordic Prime Ministers launched The Nordic Region – leading in green growth, an initiative aimed at enhancing green growth by building on the region’s positions of strength and innovation capacity. Twenty-six projects in eight strategic priority areas have produced a wealth of knowledge and recommendations on ways to stimulate the green economy in the region and encourage the global community to implement more ambitious green strategies.
Renowned for their regional co-operation on energy, a sophisticated joint electricity market, and a profound and consistent commitment to renewable energy, the Nordic countries are now considering the future of their energy co-operation. The Nordic Council of Ministers has commissioned former Nokia executive Jorma Ollila to carry out a strategic review of the co-operation and identify which collaborative measures should be initiated over the next five to ten years to strengthen co-operation on energy policy.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) and Nordic Energy Research launched Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives 2016 in Stockholm on the 23rd of May. The product of extensive research collaboration between IEA analysts and researchers from the five Nordic countries, the report presents a technological and economic pathway towards a carbon-neutral energy system in 2050. Electricity generation in the region is already 87% carbon-free, but transport and heavy industry represent greater challenges.
Under the COP21 Paris Agreement, developed countries are urged to raise the bar for climate financing. The goal is to provide USD 100 billion annually by 2020 to support climate action in developing countries. Nordic financial institutions and climate experts have been a driving force behind the rapidly expanding green bond market, which will be instrumental in attracting private sector climate funding. The Nordic Governments and Nordic Investment Bank are committed to activating private capital in the battle against climate change.
Nordic parliamentarians describe the climate agreement adopted by 195 countries at the Paris Climate Change Conference as the best possible outcome of the international climate negotiations. It is now up to parliamentarians around the world to ensure that each country lives up to its climate commitments, but also to take more drastic regulatory measures to limit the average global temperature rise. The Nordic Council has opted to to serve as a platform for increased co-operation between the Nordic parliaments