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How Sustainable is the Nordic Countries?

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The Nordic countries are ranking high in the global sustainability index. Higher education and one of the best countries to live in has shown remarkable approach and acceptance to living sustainably.

The Scandinavian countries are also dominating the happiness rankings. As per Earth.org, Sweden holds the number 1 position in the global sustainable index ranking. In climate change, Sweden is 4th position.

The Swedish government is targeting to achieve emission reduction of 63% by 2030 and 85-100% by 2045. The goals have been considered the desirable targets for an international community to conform with IPCC’s 1.50 C goal. The target by the Swedish government to achieve zero net emission by 2045 needs the forest capacity to increase, reduce emissions abroad, and develop carbon capture technology.

How about other Nordic countries?

As per the Earth.org global sustainability index, Denmark is ranked 2nd, Norway is ranked 7th and Finland is ranked 9th.

Denmark being the 2nd country as the pioneer for sustainability livelihood has strongly followed to use cleaner sources of energy such as wind and solar power than using coal. They significantly achieve the target of reducing coal use to 13% in 2019 from 49% in 2009.

Denmark has been called the leader in wind power. A goal is to become independent of fossil fuels by 2050. Depending on wind energies to generate a clean source of energy with plans to the expansion of their existing wind farms by 2030 and investments more in solar power farms. The Country is remarkably making expansions in their available renewable resources.

Decarbonization in all sectors is mandatory including agriculture, transportation, and other energy sectors. Copenhagen aims to be the first carbon-neutral city by 2025.  Well, it can be said, that the capital of the country is also competing to stay ahead among the Sustainable goals.

When it comes to Norway, the country is focusing to eliminate the climate crisis but lowering the global warming issue can all be achieved by 2100. The country’s government pension fund investments have also been redirected from coal, oil, gas to more renewable energy resources.

Norway is also the hometown of the crude oil reservoir, even though the current is focusing on generating electricity by hydropower plants, wind farms, or even thermal plants.

The country can not completely deny the need for fossil fuels in their country even to export them to other countries. In 2005, Norway joined the EU ETS (Emission Trading Scheme) and in 2018, 80% of the greenhouse gas emissions were taxed.

The Norwegian government also proposed a plan to achieve climate neutrality by 2030. Norway is also accelerating emission solutions for CO2 emission cuts and offsetting carbon in areas with oil and industry gas are operating.

As per International Hydropower Association, 95% of the country’s energy production is due to hydropower energy.

The targets set by Norway are to become a low carbon society by 2050 through 80-95% emission reduction and expanding the electric vehicle market. By 2025, the only available vehicle will be one running on green power.

So, what about Finland? The country has become the world’s 1st country with a roadmap to establish the efficient and sustainable use of resources. The country is also concerned with the circular economy.

Sitra, a fund for innovating sustainable new model concepts was formed by the Finnish Parliament. Sitra was supported by an annual budget of 30 EUR million for innovative, sustainable, and efficient circular economy projects.

Finland is also one of the countries with less population and fewer conflicted areas. The country is also home to large forests enabling the natural carbon sink, resulting in one of the cleanest Finnish air in the world. The strict environmental policies became the standard protection law to achieve sustainable targets.

Finland has set multiple small-scale environmental projects enabling the officials the measures real-time success and make any necessary adjustments needed.

Finland is also known for energy consumption from renewable resources, transiting into cleaner sources with the use of more public transit, pedestrian and biking culture. They also launched an open university, Climate University, to educate people about climate change and sustainability.

Helsinki, the capital of the country is also targeting to become a carbon-neutral city by 2035. Finland is aiming for SDGs 2,7,12,13,14 and 15.

Such remarkable goals, targets, and success clearly shows how smoothly Nordic countries can become the pioneer to live a sustainable livelihood even for other countries. All four countries have got the strengths and capabilities to plan and use it effectively.

The country also targets desirable goals that are yet to be seen implemented in different countries.

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