A productive first meeting for the nordic climate policy councils


Last week, the climate policy councils of Finland, Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden, as well as a Norwegian delegation, came together to exchange experiences and discuss common issues. This first Nordic meeting for climate policy councils was hosted by the Swedish Climate Policy Council.

The Nordic climate councils have all been active in European contexts and in the global network, the International Climate Councils Network. However, this was the first time a joint Nordic meeting was held.

Today, climate policy is high on the agenda in all Nordic countries, as well as in the EU. National elections and changes in government in some of the countries also bring up questions about different approaches to reach climate policy goals. Moreover, the pandemic and then the war in Ukraine as well as increasing inflation have affected the conditions for climate policy.

“The climate policy councils play an important role in helping governments and parliaments in each country stick to long-term, strategic climate goals even in turbulent times,” said Ola Alterå, head of the Swedish Climate Policy Council. “In this work, it is of great value for us to learn from our Nordic sister organizations.”

At the meeting in Stockholm, the representatives discussed issues such as how the Nordic countries implement and are affected by the EU’s major reform agenda in the climate field, including goals for carbon sequestration in forests and land. Other issues discussed included possible climate policy instruments in agriculture, the conditions for public support, various justice perspectives on climate change, and the transition to fossil-free industry in the Nordic region.

The attending representatives from the Nordic councils agreed to continue practical and close cooperation to learn from each other in order to more effectively fulfill their roles in each country.

The latest report from the IPCC has reminded the world of the urgency of drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and also of the great opportunities that are involved.

“The Nordic countries have shown the world for a long time that it is possible to combine reduced carbon dioxide emissions with growing prosperity and welfare. The Nordic region has good conditions to continue to be positive examples, and we believe that the climate policy councils have a role to contribute to this, and thus also to achieving the global goals in the Paris Agreement,” said Alterå.