It started beautifully with the strong voices of the future. The Youth Day at the Nordic pavilion Monday December 3rd showed high hopes for our young generation, and the tone was set by Lotta Velin, one of the promising youth ambassadors representing the Nordic Council of ministers during the COP.
- We in the Nordics live four-planets-lives on average, so I think we need to start taking a global lead on sustainable consumption, Levin said.
A huge climate festival
As the prime minister initiative Nordic Solutions to Global Challenges has been the main heading for activities at the pavilion in Katowice – demonstrating how Nordic climate solutions can help reduce global greenhouse-gas emissions, Lotta Velins message encaptures another main target for the Nordic presence at the COP24: Dialogue and knowledge sharing on our biggest climate challenges.
- I think that the Nordic pavilion, and the other pavilions that you see here, are great venues to put forward different aspects of the climate issues. One of the beautiful things about the COP is that there is so much going on also outside the negotiation rooms, and outside the high level panels. You could maybe say it is a huge festival for those interested in environmental issues. You can learn so much here, and you go back home so much richer than you were when you came, says Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources of Iceland.
Each day at the Nordic pavilion has had its own theme with the purpose of providing a platform for dialogue, networking and climate-related know how on transport, green construction, bioeconomy, urban solutions, the Arctic, changes in the energy market, green financial markets and unity and coherence policies as a mean to make progress on the Paris Agreement.
- The Nordic countries are looked upon as frontrunners on climate solutions and sustainable development, and ambitious climate action is a crucial part of the Nordic countries’ joint efforts to fulfill the Agenda 2030. By inviting to conversations on both Nordic solutions and challenges we have shared our knowledge and gathered new perspectives at the COP24, says Secretary General Dagfinn Høybråten of the Nordic Council of Ministers.
- The COP24 is called the COP of dialogue, and the diverse activities at the Nordic pavilion and our think tank approach has shown that sharing is the way to move forward to solve the global climate crisis, Høybråten ads.
Joint statement on the 1,5°C-report
The Nordic Ministers for Climate and the Environment from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Åland published a joint statement at the COP to welcome the IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C. and note with grave concern the findings of the report.
Interviews with ministers, stake holders, policy makers, experts and activists engaged in the climate issue has created the buzz on Twitter and Facebook to ensure that the rest of the world also has taken part in the discussions. Every morning and evening different guests with expertise on the daily topic has set the tone and wrapped up the days live on Facebook.
One of the most alarming stories came from photographer Samuel Turpin and his visual documentation of the impact of climate change on Greenland.
What are the biggest Nordic challenges to climate change has been a recurring question asked on camera to guests at the pavilion to create viral dialogue and knowledge-sharing.
One of the clearest messages was addressed not by the middle aged men in suites, but by a 15 year old girl from Sweden.
- Rich countries need to reduce emissions since we have higher emissions per capita than other countries. So off course we have to reduce emissions more, said Greta Thunberg, the Swedish girl who began a solo climate protest by striking from school last summer, and a well recognized guest at the UNFCCC climate change summit in Katowice.
As the youth perspective was a high priority, one among a long range of communications activities has been the Instagram takeover where the Nordic youth ambassadors has presented their take on COP24 trough @nordisksamarbejde.
And during the last week, the pavilion has been the venue for a new podcast series which examines how the experience of the Nordic countries, in dealing with issues such as a gender, nutrition and environmental sustainability, can inspire other parts of the world.
The Nordic Council of Ministers has no formal role at COP24, and the countries do not negotiate as a bloc. Nevertheless, we do work together via the Nordic Working Group for Global Climate Negotiations (NOAK).