Wednesday

12th May 2021

Letter

Nordic contribution to global goals

  • Nordic countries decided on Monday to launch a new initiative to respond to an increased global interest in Nordic sustainability policies and products. (Photo: Magnus Fröderberg/norden.org)

Two years ago, we joined leaders from all over the world and set ambitious targets for global development. At summits in New York and Paris, we agreed to halt climate change, eradicate poverty and reduce inequality.

Achieving the historic goals set in the Paris climate agreement and the UN 2030 Agenda will require much hard work from all of us.

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  • The new initiative aims to share knowledge of six flagship projects on the themes Nordic Green, the Nordic Gender Effect and Nordic Food & Welfare. (Photo: Magnus Fröderberg/norden.org)

As part of our contribution, the Nordic prime ministers are launching the initiative: Nordic Solutions to Global Challenges.

We want to enter into dialogue and partnerships with other regions, share our good solutions with them and get to know about theirs.

We all have a lot to learn, including here in the Nordic Region.

Decades of working together have helped our countries to enjoy economic growth, protect the environment and maintain our social values. We must keep up the good work.

The Nordic Region is the most integrated region in the world. By working closely together, our countries were the first to succeed in decoupling economic growth from climate change.

For almost two decades now, we have been reducing our dependency on fossil fuels and cutting greenhouse gas emissions, without negatively affecting jobs and the economy.

One thing we want to share with the rest of the world is the work we have done in making cities good places to live. Another is what we have learned about renewable energy, and market models for sustainable energy investment.

The Nordic Region has long led the way when it comes to the relationship between gender equality and economic growth. Investment in gender equality in the labour market – for example, parental leave and high-quality childcare – has been crucial in making this one of the most prosperous regions in the world.

We have learned a great deal about the benefits of having a high proportion of women in work, and we want to share this with parts of the world where gender equality is not the norm.

The same applies to a number of positions of strength in welfare, for example: innovative Nordic solutions for dealing with the challenges of an ageing population.

Many of the Nordic initiatives to produce healthy, tasty and sustainable food could also be introduced elsewhere, helping countries where food producers face environmental challenges and where malnutrition and obesity are problems.

Sharing what we have learned will help the world to make progress towards the ambitious targets set by global leaders two years ago. It will also enhance the global business potential of Nordic companies, create jobs and generate continued growth and prosperity in the region.

It is a win-win situation – for the Nordic Region and the world.

Erna Solberg, prime minister, Norway ; Lars Løkke-Rasmussen, prime minister, Denmark ; Juha Sipilä, prime minister, Finland ; Bjarni Benediktsson, prime minister, Iceland ; Stefan Löfven, prime minister, Sweden

Disclaimer

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author's, not those of EUobserver.

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