The official Nordic Ecolabel. The purpose of the official Nordic Ecolabel is to have a voluntary common ecolabelling which contributes to reducing the impact of everyday consumption on the environment. The Nordic Ecolabel examines the environmental effect of goods and services during the entire life cycle from raw ingredients till waste. It places stringent demands on climate and the environment but also requirements on function and quality. The Nordic Ecolabel is the well known symbol of the environment in the Nordic countries and also raises interest internationally.
Joint Nordic inspection of chemicals, which started in 2000, is beneficial for both authorities and industry. Experience gained after ten years of co-operation shows that it has given each country better results than they could have achieved alone. When the Nordic countries speak with one voice they are heard in discussions on chemicals in the EU and EEA. This issue of NordicEnvironment presents inspection co-operation with examples of the benefits achieved so far.
Finland har i 2011 varit ordförandeland i Nordiska ministerrådet. Som minister med ansvar för det nordiska samarbetet är det på sin plats att efter ordförandeskapet sammanfatta vad Norden och det nordiska betyder för Finland. Jag ska ställa mig själv tre frågor och skissa upp några tankar som innehåller en antydan om mina svar. Hoppas detta också kan fungera som öppning till en fortsatt diskussion.
Suomi on toiminut vuonna 2011 Pohjoismaiden ministerineuvoston puheenjohtajamaana. Pohjoismaisen yhteistyöministerin ominaisuudessa on minusta näin vuoden päätteeksi paikallaan tiivistää, mitä pohjoismaisuus ja Pohjola meille merkitsevät. Esitän itselleni kolme kysymystä, joihin hahmottelen myös vastauksen alkioita keskustelun avaamiseksi.
The Icelandic government approved an action plan for climate change last year. The course they have projected will reduce net emissions of greenhouse gases by up to 30 per cent by 2020 compared to 2005 levels. The target in 2007 was to reduce emissions by 50-70 per cent before 2050. This is in line with EU policy.
The new Danish government led by Social Democrat Helle Thorning-Schmidt may make history as a green government. A new energy plan contains sky-high ambitions. The business community is cautiously positive - but fears for its competitiveness.
In the weeks leading up to the climate summit in Durban there is intense debate in Sweden – on care for the elderly. The private equity firm Carema has neglected old and senile people. The company has earned big money from Swedish taxpayers while Carema's own profits have been transferred to the tax haven of Jersey. A series of reports on television, radio and in all the Swedish newspapers have has dominated the debate and shaken the government. It is perhaps typical of our times.
In the winter, or the spring, the Norwegian parliament (Storting) will make the unpopular decisions which will result in tremendous cuts in Norwegian climate gas emissions by 2020. Or perhaps there will be yet another delay? 14 years' experience of follow-up to the Kyoto Agreement indicates that the politicians will once again put the difficult decisions off. It is much easier to save the rain forests in Brazil and Indonesia than to force Norwegians to drive their cars less.
Finland's climate policy has to a large extent involved an adjustment to the European Union's general climate line. The same applies to the Durban summit. Finland's support for the EU's target of a 30 per cent reduction in emissions is conditional, whereas all the major industrialised countries have sincerely promised to reduce their emissions. There is emphasis on the role of clean technology. Despite this, the main change that has occurred in the climate debate is that the whole subject has been side-tracked, left in the background of politics but out of sight.
There has been considerable political turmoil in Iceland after the financial collapse in October 2008. After the banks went bankrupt there were mass protests in Reykjavik for days. They reached their peak in January 2009 in what came to be known as the 'household revolution' when fires were lit in the city, stones thrown at the Parliament (Alltinget) and the police used tear gas against the angry crowd.
To follow the Swedish debate on terrorism and political extremism you have to understand the concept of the roundabout dog. It might seem frivolous in such a serious context but the fact is that the security police's latest crackdown was based on such a dog.
When Jens Stoltenberg committed us all to meet terror with more openness and democracy, he added in the same sentence that we should never be naive. In the months that have elapsed since the 22 July, it has become clearer how difficult it is to weigh these promises up against each other. It has also been surprisingly difficult to assess whether Norwegian society has become more divided or more united after the terror attacks, and whether there are grounds for more or less extremism.
The last political assassination at ministerial level in Finland was in 1922. The organised far right is a very marginal group in the country. The extreme left has not been heard from in a long time. We have not seen any major political demonstrations for something or against something for a while. No suspicion of terrorism directed against Finland has emerged. Nevertheless, during the autumn, the waves in the debate of extreme political movements have surged high in the country and a new aggressiveness has emerged in the debate climate.
The leader of the Social Democrats, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, is the favourite to win the election in Denmark on Thursday, 15 September. She will have a tough challenge. She is leading a party that is on its way towards a disappointing result, and she will have to lead a disconnected coalition.
The Nordic Council's Environment Committee has recently submitted a statement to the EU Commission as an input to the reform of the EU agricultural subsidies. We attach importance to improving food safety and ensuring food supply and call for an agricultural policy that promotes production across the Nordic region.
Pohjoismaisen 14.7.1994 hyväksytyn sosiaalipalvelusopimuksen 7 artiklassa lukee: ”Pohjoismaan kansalaista ei saa lähettää kotiin sillä perusteella, että hän on sosiaalipalvelujen tai toimeentulotuen tarpeessa, jos hänen perhesuhteensa, siteensä asuinmaahan tai muut olosuhteet puoltavat hänen jäämistään sinne eikä missään tapauksessa, jos hän viimeisen kolmen vuoden ajan on laillisesti asunut maassa”.
Man har varit tvungen att minska hastigheten för tågen i Finland, eftersom järnvägarna är i allt sämre skick. Det finns stora behov av investeringar i trafiken i landet, men det är svårt att hitta finansiering. Statens trängda ekonomi har hindrat alla omfattande nya projekt fastän avstånden är långa i Finland och behoven av transporter stora. Trots det visionerar man om tunnel till Tallinn och järnväg till Ishavet.
The Nordic Ministerial Council for transport policies ceased to exist a few years ago although crossborder traffic is growing more than ever in the Nordic Region. Experience have also shown that grand crossborder transport projects can bind the Nordic countries closer together. Despite this increase and experience, it is still the national traffic projects that are prioritised when Nordic governments decide on transport policies. Analys Norden takes a look at what drives transport policies in the Nordic countries.
Islendingene er en bilnasjon, storforbrukere av biler. Her er det flere biler per innbygger enn noe annet sted i Europa, ca 665 biler per 1000 innbyggere, man må dra til USA for å finne et tilsvarende antall biler. Bilparken er også en av de mest energikrevende i verden i forhold til innbyggertall. Islendingene eier store biler, og islendinger bruker privatbiler til de aller fleste gjøremål. Bilen er ikke bare et transportmiddel, islendingens yttertøy og hans mest nyttige tjener, men også et statussymbol og en del av identiteten.