At their summer meeting, led by Icelandic Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, who this year is also chairing the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Nordic prime ministers discussed some serious topics including the climate issue, the war in Ukraine, the crisis preparedness of the Nordic Region, and the importance of the oceans for sustainable development.
Karen Elleman, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, was invited to join the prime ministers in dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s as part of continued efforts to make the Nordic Region the best in the world by 2030 in terms of sustainability.
“We have to step up and do better”
“Climate change and the loss of biodiversity are among the most pressing challenges we face. The Nordic Region has presented a clear vision of becoming the most sustainable and integrated region in the world, and Iceland’s focus during this year’s presidency has been based on that. Research clearly shows what the current situation is. We have to step up, do better, and work faster to reach our goals,” says Katrín Jakobsdóttir, who continues:
“Although there’s a lot of work to do, there is consensus among the Nordic countries and I’m convinced that we have the ability and the will to achieve the results required of us.”
Transition is too slow
The recently published status report on sustainability and integration in the Nordic Region shows that too little is happening in the green transition.
The region’s greenhouse gas emissions are falling too slowly and its consumption remains unsustainable. More ocean areas should be protected and fish stocks in the Arctic and Barents Sea are decreasing.
“The Nordic Council of Ministers is a strong muscle”
Karen Ellemann, who is heading up the work of the Nordic Council of Ministers in order to ensure the greatest possible impact of the vision, is hoping a strengthened mandate will help to deliver even more concrete results in the countries.
“The Nordic Council of Ministers is a strong muscle. Our strength lies in getting people, companies, civil society, researchers, and governments throughout the Nordics to work together to find solutions to the biggest societal challenges. That is the key to achieving the vision,” said Ellemann.
Nordic Nutrition Recommendations a key result
Ellemann cited the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations, launched in Iceland earlier this week, as a recent example of how Nordic co-operation can help to improve the health of both people and the environment, while also setting the agenda for one of the most pivotal political issues of our time.
Nordics collaborate with Canada
The Icelandic presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers also invited Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the meeting. The Nordic prime ministers and Justin Trudeau discussed various security threats and made a joint statement.