The new issue of the web magazine "Green Growth the Nordic Way" from the Nordic Council of Ministers zooms in on the latest results from three major initiatives on the reuse of textiles, plastic recycling and food waste. The projects point towards a big potential in these areas for both environmental benefits and job growth in the Nordic region.
Just through the textiles they buy, every year, each Nordic citizen is responsible for carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to a drive from the far north of Norway to Denmark. The Nordic Ministers for the Environment are joining forces against pollution from the fashion and textile industry by way of a new action plan for textiles.
”Sustainability is when you save for the future generations.” It’s as simple as that if you ask the next generation, at least in the form of class 7C at the Krogårdskole school in Denmark. 7C has just won the first Great Nordic Climate Duel, a learning-based ‘duel’ about saving energy and learning about climate challenges. The competition is open to school students aged 12–14 from all over the Nordic Region and is part of the Nordic prime ministers' “The Nordic Region – leading in green growth” initiative to promote the Region’s green growth potential.
In this special edition of “Green Growth the Nordic Way” you can read interviews with a number of the pioneers who set out to create the new Nordic kitchen. You can also read the thoughts of a number of Nordic food activists on the future of New Nordic Food, as well as an outline of six workshops marking the closing of the yearlong programmes of the Nordic Council of Ministers on New Nordic Food.
The Nordic Council is calling for a more effective policy for preventing exposure to hazardous chemicals, especially of children, and for the EU to draw up criteria for identifying hormone-disrupting substances (known as endocrine disrupting compounds). The use of chemicals on the “Candidate list of substances of very high concern for authorisation” (under EU REACH legislation) must stop as soon as possible.
Trying to build networks between European countries subscribing to essential values as democracy is more important than ever, says Hans Wallmark, Swedish member of the Nordic Council Presidium. Wallmark met representatives from the Baltic Assembly, the Visegrád countries, as well as MPs from Georgia, Moldavia and Ukraine in Vilnius on Friday to discuss achievements, challenges and future prospects of the EU’s Eastern Partnership.
A meeting of Ministers for Nordic Co-operation in Greenland today and decided to put all activities at the Nordic Council of Ministers’ information offices in Northwest Russia on hold indefinitely. In practice the decision affects the offices in St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad, as well as the contact centres in Murmansk, Petrozavodsk and Arkhangelsk.
New networks have been established and new projects have been launched. For two years the Nordic Council of Ministers has promoted the bioeconomy agenda in the Baltic Sea region as appointed Horisontal leader by the European Commission under the EU strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. At a conference in Warsaw on March 4-5 a new three year plan for this effort was planned and discussed
“Much would be gained by a greater focus on men’s roles and responsibilities in promoting gender equality. When men and women work together, it speeds up progress towards sustainable and gender-equal societies,” the Nordic Council of Ministers for Gender Equality (MR-JÄM) announced at the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York.
The Nordic Region is celebrating five years of working together on the Keyhole nutrition label. To mark the occasion new, stricter requirements are being introduced for food products that apply to use the label, including lower salt content and more whole grains. A number of studies show a marked improvement in public health when consumers buy goods featuring the symbol.
The future of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ office in Russia will be high on the agenda when the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation meet next week. They will discuss what form co-operation with Russia will take in the future now that the office has been added to the country’s list of foreign agents. Diplomatic negotiations, including a meeting between the Council of Ministers and the Russian government in Moscow on 16 February, have failed to make any headway.
The Nordic Council of Ministers has launched a study of the climatic impact and commercial potential of using biofuels for aircraft. International aviation accounts for approximately two percent of global CO2 emissions, and this figure is rising. This trend is in stark contrast to efforts encouraging other industries to reduce their CO2 footprint.
Environmental and climate issues were high on the agenda when the Nordic Council’s Finnish delegation hosted a group of Russian MPs on 11 and 12 February. Soot emissions in the Barents Region and waste-water treatment capacity in Kaliningrad are two highly topical issues both for the Nordic countries and Russia.
The President of Iceland has formally launched a new Nordic cleantech incubator at Masdar City, Abu Dhabi. The office, opened under the auspices of the Nordic Council of Ministers, will provide a soft landing zone for Nordic cleantech companies that seek new business opportunities in the Emirates and the wider Gulf area.
Politicians from the Faroe Islands and Greenland pointed to their pragmatic dialogue with Denmark as an effective model for Europe’s autonomous regions during a peace seminar hosted by the Nordic Council on Åland. The Council is also discussing whether to include the Sámi Parliament in its work following an approach by the Sámi Parliamentary Council.