The Nordic countries need to speed up their climate transition
The Nordic countries have all set individual targets for achieving climate neutrality by some time between 2030 and 2050, but at the current rate of change, these targets may be difficult to meet. This is one of the key conclusions of a Nordic collaborative project that IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute has participated in.
"The Nordic Region actually has all the prerequisites for taking the lead in the climate transition, but we need to increase the pace. Most of the emission reductions achieved so far have been in the energy sector. We now need to step up our efforts in several other sectors, such as transport”, says Kenneth Möllersten, researcher at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, who took part in the study.
Since 1990, emissions have only been reduced by 26% in the Nordic countries, with most of the reduction taking place in the energy sector. To achieve climate neutrality in the Nordic region, much more needs to be done in the other sectors, particularly in transport, and in agriculture, land use and forestry.
In the report "Nordic Stocktake – Pathways to Climate Neutrality" External link, opens in new window., the project assessed the status of the countries' greenhouse gas emissions, identified common Nordic challenges in the various sectors, and made a number of proposals for how increased Nordic co-operation can help accelerate the transition to a climate-neutral Nordic region.
In cooperation with Finland, IVL has focused on the conditions required to create negative emissions in the Nordic region; this is presented in a separate policy brief.
"The Nordic countries are well positioned to work together in accelerating the transition in the Nordic Region. Examples of such areas are biofuels, negative emissions and better policy instruments", says IVL's Lars Zetterberg, who also participated in the study.
Another important part of the project has been to describe what a Nordic climate-neutral society could look like – and what would make it a better society than the one we have today. This is presented in the report "Nordic Visions of Climate Neutrality" External link, opens in new window..
"An important dimension is gaining broad public support for the green transition. This requires us to think in a visionary way from the start, when laying the groundwork for climate neutrality. Many of the key challenges are the same across the Nordic countries, so there is great potential in strengthened co-operation and opportunities for collaboration in all sectors," says Kenneth Möllersten.
The project "Nordic Stocktake and Visions – Pathways to Climate Neutrality" External link, opens in new window. was led by Concito (a green think tank from Denmark), and implemented together with IVL, Norway's Cicero Center for International Climate Research, the University of Iceland, Rejkjavik University, and Tyrsky Consulting from Finland.