Life in a climate-neutral Nordic Region being shaped at COP28

24.10.23 | News
climate-neutral livestyles
Sara Tingström
The UN COP28 climate summit in December will be a milestone when, for the first time, the world reviews its climate measures for delivering on the Paris Agreement. Nordic co-operation will be attending to provide a platform for knowledge and debate throughout both weeks of the negotiations. Discussions will look at how the green transition not only means making sacrifices, but how it can also lead to better lives for more people.

Ahead of this year’s climate negotiations, a survey has been carried out of how far the countries of the Nordic Region have come in fulfilling their international commitments. The survey has been undertaken by a number of Nordic think tanks and shows not only that the Nordic Region needs to reduce climate emissions quicker, but also that we have to start talking more about the benefits that a sustainable society can offer.

“A positive vision for a climate-neutral Nordic Region is important to ensure public support for the green transition. The vision roots us firmly to the fact that we should not ‘just’ reduce our emissions, but we must also simultaneously ensure that the Nordic Region becomes a better place to be in”, says Andreas Lind, senior consultant at the climate laboratory CONCITO.

Lifestyle changes with a huge impact

With global emissions at their highest ever level, the Nordic Region and the world are a long way off fulfilling the Paris Agreement. To keep the global average temperature rise below 1.5°C, a rapid change is needed in all sectors, within all societies, and in our way of life.

According to the UN climate panel IPCC, lifestyle changes can reduce global emissions between 40 and 70 percent by 2050, as long as the necessary policies, infrastructure, and technology are in place. The greatest potential lies in regions such as the Nordic Region, where we’re major consumers. However, a change in our lifestyles doesn’t have to mean that life will be worse.

Our chance to change for the better

“If we’re to fulfil the Paris Agreement, the Nordic Region needs to change, but it’s also our chance to change for the better. The Nordic countries have ambitious climate targets as well as the tools and capacity needed for the green transition. It simply has to go quicker. However, the Nordic Region also needs to show how green transition can actually make life better,” says Karen Ellemann, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The Nordic Pavilion at COP28 is organising more than 70 fact-filled debates and report launches related to climate change and climate solutions. They deal with issues such as the financing of loss and damage, a more secure food system, the interaction between the climate and gender equality, a fair green transition, technical solutions, nature-based solutions, biodiversity, and the role of culture in the fight against climate change.

More time for what’s important

The focus of the 70 events in the Nordic Pavilion will be on how the Nordic Region can become climate neutral, what new solutions are available, and how space can be created for climate-neutral lifestyles. Elise Sydendal, member of the Danish Youth Climate Council, believes that a climate-neutral lifestyle can provide insight into what actually makes us happy.

“In a climate-neutral society, we’ve realised that the important thing in life is having more time and care for our close relationships. It’s about access to culture and nature, clean air, clean drinking water, and a healthy environment, rather than increased material consumption. Changing our lifestyle and reducing our consumption creates a better life for us now, and provides security for future generations,” says Elise Sydendal, member of the Danish Youth Climate Council.  

Follow Nordic co-operation at COP28 from 30 November to 12 December as we explore what the climate-neutral life of tomorrow will look like! The programme will be published at the end of November on