Nordics should become a world fair for climate solutions

 The headline is the state of will from the leading Nordic companies, according to a new report, “Nordic businesses on climate transition, competitiveness and growth – An interview study among leading businesses in the Nordics”, published on April 12th, 2018. In the report, CEOs give strong support for the Nordic region to be a front runner in global climate efforts, where the Nordic countries act together internationally.

In the Nordics, we have been able to decouple our emissions from economic growth. Between 2000-2015, we created 28% economic growth and simultaneously decreased greenhouse gas emissions by 18%. And we have excellent, pioneering solutions developing in our countries (See report “Nordic Action on Climate Change”), wind power in Denmark, biofuels in Finland, carbon capture and storage solutions in Iceland, electric transportation in Norway, carbon free steel production in Sweden, to name a few. By combining these solutions in a Nordic collaboration, we can reach great synergies, create economic growth and decrease greenhouse gas emissions even more in the future.

But – in climate issues we are not collaborating as much as we should. In the launch event of the report “Nordic businesses on climate transition, competitiveness and growth”, the Chairman of Climate Leadership Coalition, Henrik Ehrnrooth, summarized the status: “The story of Nordic harmony is nice but I would prefer action. In reality we still have country based markets, standards etc. in many areas.”

In the past we have been able to bring about significant change to the world, for example in telecommunications by creating Nordic NMT -standard and had a major contribution to international GSM-standard. And we established Nord Pool, the first cross border first electricity exchange in the world, which has been a model to all similar exchanges globally. Now we should aim for similar collaborative success stories in all key areas, offering opportunities for new climate solutions. Energy, transport, construction, forestry, bio-economy and citizens engagement would be natural areas to start since in these areas there already are concrete business needs and ideas, followed by the manufacturing industry, agriculture and food supply. Businesses are willing to roll-up their sleeves, reducing their own carbon footprint. In doing so collectively, the Nordics can create a much bigger carbon hand print, by helping other countries with our solutions.

The new report contains four suggestions for improvement that we should start implementing immediately:

  • Set goals for citizens’ carbon footprint
  • All public procurement should become climate neutral
  • Develop common standards and make the Nordic region a permanent world fair for climate solutions
  • Develop Nordic solutions for financial risk sharing

An African proverb says “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This is relevant in this case – and we need to go far!

Strong today – stronger together,

Jouni Keronen, Executive director, Climate Leadership Coalition
Nina Ekelund, Executive director, Haga Initiative
Svante Axelsson, National Coordinator, Fossil Free Sweden
Dagfrid Forberg, Deputy director ZERO/ Secretariat Norway 203040
Anna Margrét Kornelíusdóttir, Researcher, Icelandic New Energy


  • 27 Apr, 2018
  • Unna Lehtipuu

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