2040: Only fossil-free aviation in the Nordic Region

04.11.21 | News
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The Nordic Council wants the Nordic Region to have the world’s first fossil-free aviation market by 2040.

Several areas of the Nordic Region depend on air transport. The ambition behind the proposal, which was discussed at the Session of the Nordic Council today, is to develop and restructure the aviation industry to enable it to contribute to the green transition while ensuring adequate cross-border mobility in the Nordic Region for the benefit of the region’s shared labour market.

The Nordic Council’s view is that such a major restructuring is best done together, which is why the Nordic Council is calling on the Nordic governments to develop a joint plan for how the Nordic Region can boast the world’s first fossil-free aviation market by 2040.

Disagreement on the details

However, adoption was not entirely without debate. A point of contention was the additional requirement that, from 2025, all aviation fuel for domestic flights and flights between the Nordic countries will need to contain at least 5% biofuel.

Maria Stockhaus from the Conservative Group said:

“We think all the details are unfortunate. It risks hampering development instead of supporting it.”

There were several counterarguments, one being that a common Nordic market for biofuels will propel development and ensure more cost-effective production in the longer term.

Simon Holmström from the Centre Group said:

“If the market does not solve problems itself, we have to set the guidelines. A requirement for 5% biofuel isn’t such a big ask.”  

Freddy André Øvstegård from the the Left-wing Socialist Green Group was in agreement:

“It’s a good idea to pursue specific solutions in order to encourage the industries. If we’re willing to manage things actively, we can both reduce emissions and create green growth and development.”

However, there was no disagreement about the creation of a joint Nordic plan that can satisfy national, Nordic, European, and global climate goals. The consideration passed with 51 votes. Nine voted against and ten abstained. The proposal will now be considered by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The proposal was based on the Nordic Sustainable Aviation report, which was commissioned by the Nordic ministers for climate and the environment in 2020.


Interested in sustainable aviation? Listen to “The Future of Aviation” from the Nordic Talks podcast, where Dag Falk-Petersen, CEO of Avinor in Norway, discusses the future of the electric aircraft industry.