Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg sent off the Nordic COP21 pavilion to a flying start by announcing a 500 million USD partnership with the World Bank to boost climate action in developing countries. The next two weeks will bring a total of more than 50 events and numerous other activities at the pavilion under the heading “New Nordic Climate Solutions”.
COP21 in Paris will be a defining moment for the development of life and human activity on our planet. The Nordic Council of Ministers hosts a common Nordic pavilion at the COP negotiation venue under the heading “New Nordic Climate Solutions”. The aim is to contribute to the climate dialogue – from a Nordic perspective, but with a global outlook. This issue of “Green Growth the Nordic Way” zooms in on the Nordic participation at COP21.
“Liberté, égalité, fraternité – liberty, equality, fraternity. Just as the national motto of France could also be the motto of the Nordic Region, so we see the attacks on the people of Paris as an attack on ourselves and on our values here at home,” says the President of the Nordic Council Höskuldur Þórhallsson, adding that opposing extremism has never been more important.
On Wednesday, the Swedish government decided to impose temporary border controls starting today, Thursday 12 November, at 12:00. The decision was made following a request from the Swedish Migration Agency and will initially be in place for ten days. As a consequence of this, free movement in the Nordic Region will partially cease.
The Nordic Energy Ministers have commissioned a strategic analysis of the future potential of the Nordic energy market. At the same time, the International Energy Agency heralds the Nordics as climate pioneers in the World Energy Outlook published on November 10. The ministers also discussed Nordic activities at COP21 and beyond.
Communiqué from a meeting of the Nordic ministers for energy in Copenhagen on 10 November 2015: On this the 100th anniversary of the first electricity connection between Sweden and Denmark, the Nordic ministers for energy have set their sights on Europe and discussed the integration of Nordic energy co-operation with the EU Energy Union, which focuses on matters such as the role of regional co-operation in Europe.
Christian Friis Bach, executive secretary of UNECE, urged the Nordic countries to stand up for the rights of migrants, to stand firm against racism and hatred, and to support more comprehensive approaches to the handling and resolution of refugee situations in his speech to the assembly at the Nordic Council Session.
Governments around the world are spending $550bn a year to subsidize the consumption of fossil fuels. That is four times more than spending on renewable energy subsidies. A new report from the Nordic Council of Ministers and the International Institute for Sustainable Development shows the way towards a cut of 10-20% in greenhouse gas emissions within 5 years.
The Nordic Council of Ministers has decided to set aside DKK 4.8 million for a media co-operation project titled “Journalism in a modern democracy”. The project includes courses, seminars and master classes for journalists from Northwest Russia and the Nordic Region. These focus on topics including objective journalistic coverage of elections and the professional use of social media.
On Tuesday 27 October at the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Reykjavik, the Nordic Council will award five prizes for literature, children and young people’s literature, music, film, and nature and environment. Nearly all the nominees will be present at the award ceremony, which will be hosted by Danish actress Charlotte Bøving and her Icelandic colleague Ólafur Egill Egilsson. The award ceremony will be broadcast by the Icelandic broadcaster RUV.
“We must urgently develop the tools to process asylum seekers and streamline our current process, which is often protracted and resource intensive. It could be to our advantage if we could jointly develop new and more efficient procedures for this purpose,” explains the President of the Nordic Council, Höskuldur Þórhallsson, who has great expectations of this year’s Session in Reykjavik from 27 to 29 October.
Speaking at the Nordic Nexus breakout-session at the Arctic Circle in Reykjavik, the President of the Nordic Council, Mr. Höskuldur Þórhallsson, stated “that we should preserve the open and pragmatic way of cooperating that has characterised Arctic politics since the end of the Cold War. With increasing tension in European geopolitics, the conciliatory role of the Arctic Council becomes even more important than before”.
As the world is working on solutions to tackle climate change this new online database allows users to track initiatives that aim at solving these challenges we presently face. The more than 180 climate initiatives embedded in the tool have the potential to be significant on a global scale and include more than twenty thousand participants.
The latest issue of “Green Growth the Nordic Way” is published in connection with the pre-COP21 event World Efficiency in Paris, October 13-15. Under the heading of “Nordic Efficiency” the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Nordic embassies in France present a number of green solutions – both from the public and private sector.
At their meeting at Marienborg near Copenhagen, the Nordic prime ministers discussed the refugee crisis and a common strategy leading up to November’s COP21 climate summit. Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers Dagfinn Høybråten also met the Nordic prime ministers to speak about the results of Nordic co-operation on Green Growth and Sustainable Nordic Welfare.
At their meeting in Copenhagen on Wednesday, the ministers for Nordic co-operation established continued co-operation with Russia despite the current disbanding of operations at the Nordic Council of Ministers’ offices in St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad. As before, co-operation focuses on the environment, democracy, education and culture.
After a meeting in Copenhagen, the Nordic ministers of health and social affairs and the Danish Minister of Employment, Jørn Neergaard Larsen, issued a declaration on welfare benefits in the social and health area in the Nordic countries and interaction with EU Regulation 883/2004 on the coordination of social security benefits.
At Monday’s roundtable discussion on defence issues hosted by the Nordic Council in Stockholm, Sweden’s Minister of Defence Peter Hultqvist stressed the importance of successful and deepened co-operation within the framework of NORDEFCO, as well as bilateral co-operation such as that which exists between Sweden and Finland.
The Nordic and Baltic foreign ministers have agreed to counter Russian propaganda. At their meeting in Copenhagen today, the ministers also pledged support for Ukraine and agreed to explore funding options for climate initiatives and to pursue an ambitious global climate agreement at COP21 in Paris in December.