The Transnor project provides support to regions and municipalities in Norrbotten and Västerbotten in their implementation of the just transition.
The regions of Norrbotten and Västerbotten in Upper Norrland are heavily dependent on the steel and non-ferrous metal industries, which are currently strong emitters of greenhouse gases. In addition to this fossil fuel use, they also consume large amounts of electricity. As result, these industries contribute an important share of Sweden’s GHG emissions and of its power consumption.
In order for Sweden to comply with its national target of climate neutrality by 2045, it plans to convert its steel- and metal-processing plants to low- or zero-carbon technologies. The regional consequences of this transition will generate considerable transformations to society in Norrbotten and Västerbotten. These transformations include: (1) an increase in the population over a short period of time; (2) the re- or up-skilling of the workforce; (3) the construction of new large-scale infrastructure; (4) adaptation to climate change.
All these transformations need to be supported by appropriate public policy and regional and municipal planning. Such planning relates both to the industrial transformation itself, but also to the functioning of local communities. Preserving and creating attractive living environments for present and future populations, including housing, transport, education, healthcare, culture etc., is crucial for sustainable societies and recruitment to industries and services.
From a planning perspective, the challenge is to enable better coordination, both vertically – between administrative levels – and horizontally – across spatial units –, in face of this complex and far-reaching transition. The Transnor consultancy project is meant to support regions and municipalities in this work.