Nordic inter-governmental co-operation on the environment is headed up by the Nordic Council of Ministers for the Environment and Climate (MR-MK), which consists of the environment ministers from all of the Nordic countries, as well as Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Åland. MR-MK meets two or three times a year to make decisions on the guidelines for co-operation, Nordic initiatives, Nordic co-operation in an international context, project funding and strategic issues.
The environment sector has opted to prioritise the following six topics in the period 2019–2024:
- Circular economy
- Climate and air
- Environment and health
- Oceans and coastal areas.
MR-MK seeks to influence and provide input into regional and international processes, including UN climate talks, the 2030 Agenda, the circular economy in the EU, OECD and the UN, international mercury negotiations, HELCOM, OSPAR and the Arctic and Barents region.
MR-MK is serviced by the Nordic Committee of Senior Officials for the Environment and Climate (EK-MK), which prepares its meetings, follows up on the ministers’ decisions and ensures that the Programme for Nordic co-operation on the Environment and Climate 2019–2024 is implemented.
EK-MK has also set up a working group (AU) consisting of representatives of national environment institutions, which will plan and co-ordinate its activities.
The Nordic Council of Ministers has six working groups in the environmental and climate sector, each of which addresses a different theme.
The Nordic Council of Ministers’ Secretariat in Copenhagen is responsible for the day-to-day running of Nordic inter-governmental co-operation.
The Nordic countries also work together on the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), which is part of the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO), on the Nordic eco-label and on the Nordic Council Environment Prize.
Other important partners in international environmental and climate work include: