The Nordic prime ministers have adopted the vision for the Nordic Region to be the most integrated and sustainable region in the world by 2030. But how far have we actually come in the Nordics in creating a more sustainable society? And what will it take to achieve the goals of Agenda 2030 in just seven years? Where should we step up our efforts?
“The Nordic Region is characterised by a high level of social trust and economic equality, with healthy populations that live a long time. So, we have a good starting point for creating even more sustainable, green, and socially responsible societies. One challenge is to ensure that everyone is involved, especially those who may not be best placed to adapt to a rapidly changing society,” says Jonas Wendel, chief of staff at the Nordic Council of Ministers.
We have a good starting point for creating even more sustainable, green, and socially responsible societies.
Our material footprint is too large
Another problem is that the material footprint of the Nordic countries is too large. In fact, we lag behind both the best-performing OECD countries and the group of comparable countries. What’s more, things are going in the wrong direction.
In 2021, a report was published analysing the climate impact of households in the Nordic countries with an emphasis on housing, transport, food, and consumer goods. The report included the so-called spillover effects and the negative impact, both environmental and social, that Nordic consumption has in other countries. In connection with this, senior researcher and project manager of the study, Annelise de Jong from the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, stated the following:
“This report reveals the true impact of Nordic consumption on other countries in terms of climate emissions, the environment, and social conditions. It’s clear that we need to reduce things like long-haul flights and our consumption of certain types of food and luxury products.”
Join the debate
On Wednesday 1 February during World Goal Week in Copenhagen, we will convene some of the region’s sharpest minds to discuss two aspects of a green and fair transition in the Nordic Region. You will be able to meet Katherine Richardson from the University of Copenhagen, Kim Gabrielli from the UN Global Compact in Norway, Åsa Hildestrand from the Nordic research institution Nordregio, Selma de Montgomery from Fridays For Future, and Anja Phillip from the consumer council Forbrugerrådet Tænk.
Three events will take place between 11:00 and 14:00 under the banner “The Nordic Region Accepting the Challenge”. All three events will be held in English and streamed on the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Facebook page.
Registration is required in order to participate in Eigtved Pakhus in Copenhagen in person.