Building a better future – the Nordic Way

Sustainable building and the new bioeconomy were in focus at the two Nordregio events at COP24. They were part of an extensive programme at the Nordic Pavilion, which for the fourth COP in a row created an exciting platform for dialogue and knowledge sharing.

The UN Climate Summit was convened in Katowice, Poland, a heavily polluted coal town, where the need to change from a fossil-based to a bio-based economy was evident in the very air you breathe. The aim of COP24 is to create a rule book or a more concrete path towards realizing the lofty aspirations in the Paris agreement from COP21 in 2015.

To highlight Nordic solutions and provide a venue for voices from both North and South, the Nordic Council of Minsters has for the last four years organized a Nordic Pavilion, where amongst many others Nordregio has contributed with events and speakers.

Building and bioeconomy
This year, Nordregio focused on energy efficiency in the building sector and the potential of the Nordic bioeconomy.
This included a presentation based on the Interreg programme Social Green, that aims to increase the ability of European municipalities to make better use of funds for retrofitting old buildings to increase energy efficiency. Likewise, the bioeconomy event drew heavily on another Nordregio project, namely the State of the Nordic Region 2018 report published in February.

– Buildings are one of the areas where there’s the most potential to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, said Nordregio Senior Research Advisor Ryan Weber in his presentation.

The event also featured a presentation from James Drinkwater, European Director for the World Green Building Council as well as business panel with representatives from Rockwool, Danfoss and Velux, all companies heavily involved in securing a more innovative and sustainable building sector.

In addition, a look at “The Nordic Bioeconomy – past, present and future”, done together with the Stockholm International Water Institute, gave an interesting overview of the vast potential in turning the natural resources from agriculture, forestry and fishery in the Nordics – and elsewhere – into the drivers for a bio-based economy to replace the fossil-based economy of the 20th century.

Nordregio’s event on bioeconomy featured a youth panel with Martin Ruemmelein and  Santa Niedola from the Baltic Leadership Programme.




The Nordic Way
In recent years, the Nordic Council of Ministers and Nordic co-operation at large has increased its efforts to both brand the Nordic Region as well as sharing examples of good practice and innovation to hopefully inspire people elsewhere in the world
The Nordic Pavilion at COP24 is part of that effort and features a row of thematic days highlighting Nordic success stories and strengths within e.g. energy solutions, climate governance, urban development and much more, in addition to the thematic days on construction and bioeconomy.

– The Nordic COP Pavilions provide a unique platform to stimulate new policies across sectors, meet across the board between industry, policies and research and develop new projects to further the transformation from a fossil-based to a bio-based society, states Nordregio’s Academic Director Karen Refsgaard in connection with her presentation at COP24.
The entire programme of the Nordic Pavilion is available at and selected events can be watched live on the facebook page for Sustainable Development the Nordic Way

Nordregio’s Head of Communications Michael Funch goes the extra mile to promote the Nordic Way at COP24.