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.
Finland’s latest Minister for Nordic Co-operation is a new face on both the Finnish and Nordic political scenes. Anne Berner is, however, well known in Finnish business, and comes to Parliament and the government directly from her post as CEO of the family-run company Vallila Interior. Although not previously active in politics, she has played a role in civic society, e.g. fundraising for a new children’s hospital in Helsinki.
The Nordic Council of Ministers is launching a new initiative to put even greater energy into the fight against human trafficking. Designed to enhance both preventative and reactive measures, the initiative will involve better co-ordination of Nordic resources and closer partnerships with bodies outside the Region.
How can Baltic co-operation be strengthened? How should existing barriers to co-operation and mobility within the region be reduced? On 15 and 16 June, experts, politicians and officials from EU countries will gather for the European Union’s sixth annual conference on Baltic co-operation, EUSBSR. As one of the EU’s most active partners in the region, the Nordic Council of Ministers will be taking part in the conference.
On 1–2 June, the heads of state from the countries that made up the Former Republic of Yugoslavia attended Summit100 in Slovenia, to discuss business co-operation in South-east Europe. Dagfinn Høybråten, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, was the keynote speaker at a debate involving the Balkan presidents. His speech about the importance of trust resonated with the panel.