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On Thursday, nations from around the world will convene for the COP28 climate summit in Dubai. Ahead of these international negotiations, the message from the Nordic climate ministers is clear: It’s time to accelerate the pace!

The declaration is signed prior to what is termed the most crucial climate negotiation since the Paris Agreement, amidst a period where human-induced climate change is contributing to climate extremes across all regions worldwide. Recent research further reveals that temperatures in the Arctic region have risen four times faster than the global average over the past 30 years, with dramatic consequences such as thawing permafrost and shrinking ice caps.

The initiative for a joint Nordic declaration on COP28 was led by the Icelandic presidency, and its contents were discussed during the meeting of environment and climate ministers on November 1st in Oslo.

“The Nordic countries speak with one voice ahead of the climate negotiations, and send an important signal to the outside world: We all see changes outside our front door, and we have a clear responsibility towards future generations. There is an urgent need to step up and ensure that we at least live up to the Paris Agreement. It is up to us to make the decisions that can ensure a fair green transition, and we must step up the pace”, says Iceland’s Minister of Environment, Energy, and Climate, Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson.

From Nordic to Global Stocktake

At this year’s climate summit, nations will, for the first time since the Paris Agreement, take stock of the global efforts to achieve the agreement’s goals. This is known as the global stocktake and serves as the basis for the development of countries’ climate goals, known as NDCs, towards 2035.

The Nordic Cooperation has undertaken the project “Nordic Stocktake – Pathways to Climate Neutrality,” which assesses the overall journey of the Nordic region towards becoming climate-neutral. The project provides specific recommendations on where efforts should be focused to fulfill climate-neutral ambitions, recommendations that the ministers have embraced in the declaration.

“The transition to renewable energy plays a crucial role if we are to achieve our climate goals and keep 1.5 degrees within reach. We have the tools and resources to ensure that the transition also creates a society that is at least as attractive as the one we have today,” says Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson.

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