The new co-operation programme lists seven priorities for the years ahead. They are: the green transition of the energy sector; closer collaboration on research to aid the green transition; Nordic co-operation in the electricity market; energy efficiency, technology and behavioural change; working together on EU/EEA-related energy issues; social acceptance of new energy plants; and the green transition of the transport sector.
All the initiatives in the co-operation programme contribute to the fulfilment of the objectives of Vision 2030, through which the Nordic Region will be the world’s most sustainable and integrated region by 2030. The energy sector plays a key role in these efforts.
The EU dimension is important
“It’s important that the Nordic countries continue their successful joint efforts relating to energy. We have closely integrated co-operation in the electricity market, which means that the energy policy of one country can have a huge impact on the other countries. In addition, we have a joint energy agenda within the framework of the EU and EEA, in which the Nordic Region can play a proactive role in the EU’s Green Deal,” says Finland’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Mika Lintilä, who is chairing the Nordic ministers for energy in 2021.
The relationship to EU and EEA issues remains a high priority in Nordic co-operation on energy policy. The co-operation programme states, for example, that through co-operation and co-ordination, the Nordic Region will have more opportunities to influence the processes within the EU and the EEA.
The Nordic Region is pioneering sustainable energy solutions and has a lot to offer at the European level, especially now that the countries are recovering from COVID-19.
Emphasis on more challenging sectors
While Nordic co-operation in the electricity market is key, sectoral integration is also being addressed as an important component of the new co-operation programme. It states that although Nordic electricity production is well on the way to becoming carbon-dioxide free, going forwards, the focus on specific sectors will be stepped up where reducing carbon dioxide emissions poses more of a challenge, such as in transport, industry, and heating.
“Co-operation within the energy sector is vital in our efforts to fulfil the objectives of Vision 2030. Although the goal is to have climate-neutral energy production in the Nordic Region, our co-operation is also very much about consumers being able to benefit from this, too. Nordic co-operation on energy policy is unique and often highlighted as a role model internationally. We must safeguard this position going forwards,” says the Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, Paula Lehtomäki.