Call for Nordic co-operation on green exports and funding

17.04.18 | News
“The Nordic countries would do well to work together on generating the right conditions for businesses to export green solutions – the strength of the Nordic brand should not be underestimated. The countries would also benefit from working together on greener financial markets,” says Tine Sundtoft, former climate and environment minister in Norway, and author of a new Nordic report on the green transition.

The Nordic Region is already in a position to present advanced solutions for activities such as water treatment, waste management, green town planning, transport and energy. The new report suggests that working together at Nordic level would enhance export earnings.

“We are strong in technology and skills, including on legislation, which the rest of the world needs for the green transition. By looking at what we have together we can help solve environmental problems and generate added Nordic value,” according to the former minister. Her report – The Nordic countries in the green transition – more than just neighbours presents twelve strategic proposals for Nordic synergies in the environment and climate sector.

Complementing each other gives competitive edge

Tine Sundtoft notes that Nordic companies are already finding that their national business clusters are too small to make the most of the global market potential, and that the countries often have skills and solutions that complement each other.

According to the report, the Nordic countries combined already have many of the solutions that will help meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“Joint export promotions would allow the Nordic countries to market and profile the different countries' solutions as complete portfolios. The companies involved have already discovered the huge potential in the Nordic brand,” says Tine Sundtoft, whose report suggests that the Nordic climate and environment ministers should talk with the ministers for business and industry and follow up on the experience gained from other joint export promotions.

“Capitalising on national work on green solutions can promote business and improve bottom lines, which make more ambitious environment and climate policies more legitimate. Maintaining a leading position in the global markets of the future will, of course, entail ongoing investments in research and development,” she points out.

Devise standards for greener financial markets

“There is a great need to redirect both private and public-sector capital into funding for the green transition. As support for the EU Commission’s work on developing greener financial markets, Sundtoft suggests that the environment and climate ministers host a summit of key Nordic stakeholders to discuss the concept.

“We need to work together across the board to draw up joint definitions and standards for green investments and investment products. We also need transparent and comparable data on green investment opportunities and risks related to the environment and climate,” Tine Sundtoft concludes.

The report – The Nordic countries in the green transition – more than just neighbours – was commissioned by the Nordic Council of Ministers for the Environment and Climate and is the result of more than 120 discussions Tine Sundtoft held with ministers, MPs, civil servants, scientists and environmental organisations throughout the Nordic Region and beyond.

Read the report in full:

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