Step up Nordic co-operation to bring us closer to achieving climate goals

02.12.23 | News
fathi birol cop27
Andreas Omvik
At a time when global greenhouse gas emissions are at their highest in human history, the need to accelerate the green transition is evident. The Nordic countries have all set goals to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. A new report indicates that at the current pace, these aspirations are simply unachievable, and recommends that Nordic co-operation be stepped up in order to reach the goals.

With COP28 just around the corner, the world is taking stock of our climate actions, including those of the Nordic Region. The new report Nordic Stocktake – Pathways to Climate Neutrality provides an assessment of the Nordic countries’ greenhouse gas emissions and identifies the region’s common challenges in meeting the ambitions of becoming climate-neutral societies.

The numbers speak for themselves

From 1990 to 2021, emissions have only been reduced by 26 per cent across the Nordic countries, with the majority of the reduction taking place in the energy sector. There’s still a long way to go in the industrial, transport, and agricultural sectors. 

"The early start of the Nordic energy transition has paid well off and spurred the development of green solutions and industries. But many sectors are still lagging, and further initiatives are needed. The Nordic Countries have set the goal of being the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030. We can do it - the Nordic Region has the tools and the capacity to implement the green transition, especially if we take advantage of the strength of Nordic co-operation," says Iceland's Minister of the Environment, Energy and Climate Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, who is also chair of the Nordic ministers for the environment in 2023.

Fra 1990 til 2021 er udledningerne kun blevet reduceret med 26 procent på tværs af de nordiske lande.

Nordic Stocktake – Pathways to Climate Neutrality

Nordic co-operation can accelerate the transition

The good news is that by stepping up Nordic co-operation, we can accelerate the green transition in all sectors, as many of the key challenges are shared across the Nordic countries. Where should we focus our efforts to realise the vision of a climate-neutral Nordic Region? The project provides a range of suggestions in this regard.

One of the recommendations is to collectively identify risks and incentive structures for the successful implementation of CO2 levies in agriculture. The report also highlights the importance of sharing best practices in managing consumption-based emissions in the Nordic countries.

“Even though we’ve reduced emissions in the energy sector substantially, a lot more needs to be done in all sectors if the Nordic Region is to become climate neutral,” says senior consultant Andreas Lind, from the CONCITO think-tank, who has led the project.

Deltag i rapportlanceringen

På COP28 gør verden status på vores klimahandling og således også Norden. Kom med til lanceringen af rapporten Nordic Stocktake – Pathways to Climate Neutrality i den nordiske pavillon på COP28 d. 2. december kl. 14-14:45. Eventet livestreames her på


- The report was conducted by CONCITO in collaboration with the Norwegian climate think-tank CICERO, the Swedish environmental institute IVL, the University of Iceland and Reykjavik University, and the Finnish consulting company, Tyrsky Consulting. Find more information and resources here.

- The report is part of the “Climate transition in the Nordics” initiative, which supports the objectives of Vision 2030 to become the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030. 

- Nordic Stocktake has been commissioned by the Nordic Working Group for Climate and Air (NKL) and the vision project Climate change in the Nordic Region. The Nordic Council of Ministers has funded the report.