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Nordic Climate- and Environment Ministers Declaration of Climate Change, 28.10 2015

The Nordic countries call for game-changing global climate action at COP21 in Paris.


Date: Oct 28, 2015

Location: Reykjavik

Nordic Council of Ministers for the Environment and Climate (MR-MK)

We, the Nordic ministers for climate and the environment, stress that climate change is one of the world’s most profound challenges which requires a truly global response. The Nordic countries reconfirm their strong commitment to reach an ambitious, global and legally binding agreement at COP21 in Paris that will keep global temperature rise well below two degrees. The agreement should be dynamic and build on a common robust transparency and accountability framework and must engage all relevant stakeholders, respect human rights, the rights of indigenous peoples, labour rights and gender equality.

We note with grave concern the evident warming of the climate system. In the Arctic region temperatures are increasing twice as fast as the world average. The livelihoods of hunters, fishermen and populations across the Arctic are being affected by rapid changes. The changes we witness in the Arctic represent fundamental threats to global ecosystems and societies which will ultimately affect the living conditions for people and fauna globally with direst consequences for the poorest and most vulnerable.  The rapid loss of sea ice changes the reflection of solar radiation, causing a feedback process, which potentially exacerbates changes in global weather patterns with severe heat waves, droughts, and floods as a result. Thawing permafrost may also release methane and start another feedback process leading to further warming. The accelerated melting of the Greenland ice sheet is expected to contribute to global sea level rise with severe consequences for low lying coastal regions worldwide.

Enhanced global action is urgently needed. We must build on the momentum created by the recent adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and seize the historic opportunity to show global leadership and commitment to address climate change at COP21. The Nordic countries stay committed to ambitious climate action and to transforming our societies towards highly energy efficient, low carbon and climate resilient economies. We call for ambitious actions by all Parties. We recognise the primary responsibility of developed countries to lead the way but all Parties must step up their efforts and contribute their fair share. Nordic countries’ have a long-standing history of forward-looking climate and energy policies. Our experiences show that effective mitigation actions can be achieved without compromising economic growth and social development but can improve economic performance, spur investments and innovation, create jobs and have positive impacts in other areas such as health and energy security. The Nordic countries support a global, scientifically based long-term emissions reduction goal in the agreement that provides direction for future action and certainty to investors. Putting a price on carbon is crucial to achieve transformative action. Nordic countries have communicated ambitious Intended Nationally Determined Contributions to the new agreement and set ambitious targets for greenhouse gas emissions, including for renewable energy and energy efficiency with a vision of sustainable climate neutrality. Furthermore, Nordic countries promote actions on the ground through Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform and call for a phase-out of fossil-fuel subsidies in order to achieve environmental, economic and social co-benefits.

Climate finance will be a key part of the agreement and Nordic countries remain committed to scaling up the mobilisation of climate finance from a variety of sources in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency of implementation, to contribute towards the developed countries' goal to jointly mobilise USD 100 billion per year by 2020. Nordic countries are working actively to mobilize climate finance, for instance through the Nordic Climate Facility that supports mitigation and adaptation projects in developing countries. To assist developing countries in their low-carbon transition, to enhance resilience and to adapt to the effects of climate change, the Nordic countries have pledged a total amount exceeding 1 billion USD to the Green Climate Fund. Climate change is also taken into account in the Nordic countries’ bilateral and multilateral development cooperation. Catalysing private investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate-friendly infrastructure are fundamental to the low-carbon transition. By improving enabling environments and framework conditions for climate investments, all countries can attract more climate finance. The Nordic countries urge all Parties to take ambitious climate action now.

Reykjavik, October 28, 2015


Heidi Orava
Phone: +45 21 71 71 48