The world is currently facing an unprecedented crisis with tragic human consequences. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are apparent to everyone and the impact is felt universally. Responding to the challenges will demand extraordinary efforts from individuals as well as societies. Nevertheless, while we are handling a health crisis demanding a structural response on an immense scale, we must not lose sight of the global climate crisis. An ambitious and decisive response to climate change goes hand in hand with a shift to more resilient societies, which might also alleviate the effects of future health crisis.
Climate change is an enduring challenge across the globe. The consequences of rising temperatures become more and more evident for each passing day. We cannot afford setbacks that can have detrimental effects on our climate as well as on human health, biodiversity and our economies.
The postponement of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) was a necessary decision in this unprecedented situation. However, the postponement must not be an excuse for the parties to the Paris Agreement not to come forward with more ambitious updated nationally determined contributions and long-term strategies under the agreement in 2020. Our commitment to limit the increase in the global average temperature to 1.5°C has not weakened.
We, the Nordic ministers, declare our full and unwavering support to the incoming presidency of the COP26 and their continued efforts to keep the processes of the Paris Agreement on track. Furthermore, we stand fully behind the presidency in order to achieve the most ambitious outcome of the conference.
The COVID-19 crisis has already proven to be severely detrimental to our economies, and all our societies are faced with stark choices on economic recovery plans. Nonetheless, the economic downturn must not imply that we lose impetus in the green transition of our societies. Rather, the recovery plans currently being structured and implemented throughout the world must be turned into an opportunity. With the right focus in current and future recovery plans, and a redirection of financial flows and investments, these can serve as a catalyst in accelerating the green transition and secure prosperity. Here, private investors play a vital role, and it is crucial that governments and the private sector join forces.
We will work together with all countries to ensure good cooperation and dialogue in the climate negotiations leading to COP26. Climate finance to developing countries is necessary for the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement. The Nordic countries re-affirm their commitment to provide climate finance from a variety of sources. We will work together with all parties to keep up the momentum in the UN climate negotiations.
For a long time, the Nordic countries have been active supporters for high global climate ambitions. We have worked towards higher global ambitions repeatedly, and we lead by example in our own countries. In 2019, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark committed to working towards carbon neutrality with the Declaration on Nordic Carbon Neutrality. The signatories of the declaration furthermore declared that they would pursue Nordic climate diplomacy in international forums to deliver solutions with impact on the global emissions. In 2019 we, the Nordic Council of Ministers also signed up to a new vision to become the world's most sustainable and integrated region in 2030, working together to promote a green, competitive and socially sustainable Nordic region.
- Dan Jørgensen, Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, Denmark
- Helgi Abrahamsen, Ministry of Environment, Industry and Trade, Faroe Islands
- Krista Mikkonen, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Finland
- Kim Kielsen, Premier of Greenland
- Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, Minister for the Enviroment and Natural Resources, Iceland
- Sveinung Rotevatn, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway
- Isabella Lövin, Minister for Environment and Climate and Deputy Prime Minister, Sweden
- Alfons Röblom, Minister of Development, Åland