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Project funding priorities for the Nordic working group on Climate and Air (NKL)

The Nordic working group on Climate and Air’s criteria for prioritizing projects and activities in 2019 and 2020 are based on objectives from the Programme for Nordic Co-operation on the Environment and Climate 2019–2024.

The overall aim of NKL group’s project activity is to contribute to the knowledge base supporting international negotiations and actively pursue the ambitious implementation of international agreements on climate change and air pollution issues, with the Paris Agreement as a key focus in terms of climate change mitigation, adaptation and finance. The group’s work aims at supporting and strengthening the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in the 2030 Agenda. This includes possible synergies between the implementation of the SDGs and the work within fields of air pollution and climate change.

The group intends to contribute to the work under the auspices of the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution, the EU/EEA, and nationally behind the continued reduction of air pollution that is harmful to both health and the environment throughout the UNECE area. The NKL group wishes to look further into synergies generated by more integrated efforts in the field of air and climate.

NKL wants to focus on projects that reflect the interaction between climate and air pollution issues in the Nordic Region, the Arctic and globally, as well as projects that develop and convey new knowledge about the effects of greenhouse gases and air pollution on health, the environment, and the climate.


The Nordic Climate and Air Pollution Group (NKL) is prioritizing:

  • project outcomes that are relevant to the administration and policies of the Nordic countries.
  • project results that strengthen the Nordic countries’ negotiating strongholds and priorities within international fora. The activities could include policy relevant projects regarding measures designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, short-lived climate pollutants, and other air pollutants.
  • new knowledge, among others on the effects of air pollution on climate change and climate change on the effects of air pollutants as well as knowledge on the effects from climate forcers and air pollutants on global warming, environment and health.
  • projects that are expected to contribute to relevant changes towards greater energy efficiency, a reduced environmental footprint, and lower emissions and levels of air pollution.  

A prerequisite for funding under this call is that the project’s structure include broad and effective dissemination of project results to policy-relevant audiences.

Focus areas in 2019

NKL seeks to prioritize projects with the following focus areas in 2019:

  1. Projects that will contribute to raising the level of ambition of collective climate commitments over time in line with the ambition mechanism of the Paris Agreement.
  2. The group wishes to support projects with Nordic added value that contribute and are in line with the aims of the Nordic prime ministers expressed in the Helsinki Declaration on carbon neutrality.
  3. New knowledge about climate change, short-lived climate pollutants, and the effects of air pollution on human health and welfare, and the interaction between these, as well as the effects on ecosystems – especially in the Arctic and areas bordering the Nordic Region.
  4. Support activities that respond to the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special report on Global Warming of 1,5 and science based policy development.
  5. Pursue a shift in financial flows so that they contribute to climate-resilient low-emission development. This includes methods to mobilize private-sector climate finance, de-risk climate compatible investments and to redirect financial flows towards renewable and fossil-free solutions.
  6. Activities that contribute to reduced global emissions of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) as well as encouraging a high level of ambition with regard to the scope of the Montreal protocol.
  7. Promote carbon pricing and the Nordic and global work on Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform.
  8. Sharing of experience on climate change adaptation and the development of climate change adaptation measures in the Nordic countries.
  9. Activities and measures to reduce emissions of transboundary air pollution in the areas bordering the Nordic Region, the Arctic countries, and other countries within UNECE Air Convention as part of efforts pertaining to its Gothenburg Protocol, the recommendations from the Saltsjöbaden VI workshop and the Batumi Action for Cleaner Air.
  10. Studies on emissions and negative effects such as biodiversity loss, climate change, acidification, eutrophication and harm to human health of reactive nitrogen. Transboundary Nordic nitrogen budgets and emission inventory analyses, including emission factors within international reporting frameworks such as UNECE Air Convention.

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Focus areas in 2020

For projects starting or continuing in 2020, the above mentioned priority areas are still valid, with the addition of:

  1. Outreach and sharing of best practices, process and effects of Nordic climate legislation and climate policy frameworks with long-term objectives.
  2. Initiatives that assess and enhance the collective efforts of the parties in relation to the long-term emissions reduction targets of the Paris agreement.
  3. Pursue a shift in financial flows so that they contribute to climate-resilient low-emission development. This includes methods to mobilize private-sector climate finance and to redirect financial flows towards renewable and fossil-free solutions.
  4. Develop and improve the efficiency of EU emissions trading while promoting the reduction of emissions in the non-trading sector;
  5. Contributions to improve the bases for decisions for international agreements and EU directives on the prevention and reduction of emissions of harmful, acidifying, and eutrophying transboundary pollution and emissions of mercury, PAHs, and dioxins etc.
  6. Governance, impact, and cost analyses for international agreements and EU directives for reducing emissions of small particulates and nitrogen oxide in the Nordic Region caused by traffic, working machinery, industry, shipping, agriculture, and heat generation.
  7. Raise the air agenda and promote policy development by follow-up studies on, the EU air quality review and the Saltsjöbaden process and its recommendations both with regards to  sector specific areas, such as wood burning, agriculture, shipping or transport but also addressing health effects and tools to asses effect on air quality and health of various measures and pollutants.

Pooling of two or many priority areas within a project proposal will be positively received. If an applicant aims at applying for funding both in 2019 and 2020, this must be stated clearly in the application and budget.

Financial framework

Annual grants can amount to approximately 300.000 – 950.000 DKK. The NKL group’s budget for project applications in this call for activity in 2019 is approx. 4.000.000 DKK in total. A prerequisite of project funding in 2020 is that NKL receives a framework budget for new projects in 2020.


Co-funding from other working groups and other possible sources will be viewed positively. Co-funding may be necessary for particularly costly projects. Notice of funding is issued by the NKL secretariat through the MFVM. The Danish Ministry of Environment and Food complies with current state aid rules for the award of grants/subsidies.

NKL will strive to ensure a good Nordic geographical spread of participation.


The deadline for applications is 3. June EOB. Applications should be sent to:

Applicants will be notified of the decision for 2019 grants latest in September 2019 and for 2020 during the first quarter of 2020.