Renewed commitment to a strong Nordic Region in climate efforts

02.05.17 | News
Benjamin Suomela /
The steadfast nature of the ambitious Nordic climate agenda and Nordic leadership was emphasised once again when the Nordic ministers for the environment and climate adopted a new climate declaration at their meeting in Oslo on Tuesday.

The Oslo Declaration stresses that climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing mankind, with the ministers expressing their backing for evidence-based climate legislation.

“It’s extremely important that the Nordic Region steps up to lead the way in climate efforts. There’s a need for countries that can show the benefits of a transition. The implementation of the Paris Agreement is not only a crucial issue for future generations, but is also a smart decision in economic terms,” says Isabella Lövin, Sweden’s minister for international development and climate.

In their declaration, the ministers for the environment and climate express their determination that the parties to the Paris Agreement continue working towards its effective and continued implementation. This includes a supportive dialogue in 2018 in which all parties should consider raising their ambitions for 2020 in line with current scientific evidence. Carbon offsetting and the phasing out of subsidies for fossil fuels are highlighted as important measures in this.

Arctic melting affects the entire globe

The Oslo Declaration expresses particular concern that temperature rises in the Arctic are happening twice as fast as in the rest of the world. Shrinking ice sheets disturb the global energy balance, which has an impact on the climate worldwide.

“The situation in the Arctic is in no way a problem that affects only the Arctic. The thawing permafrost is releasing methane, which contributes to further warming. The melting ice sheets and rising sea levels put low-lying and densely populated communities throughout the globe in danger,” says Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s minister for the climate and environment, and chairperson for the Nordic Council of Ministers for the Environment in 2017.