Highlights from the North Sea Climate Conference
The energy level was high at the North Sea Climate Conference on 25-26 June, where more than 230 participants convened in Marstrand, Sweden, to discuss how the North Sea Region can take the lead in addressing climate change. The conference was hosted by the North Sea Commission and the Region Västra Götaland, with support from the North Sea Region Programme.
As a heavily industrialised and densely populated region, the North Sea Region has a comparitively large CO2 footprint. However, the region also has a thriving innovation community that is bent on improving the situation and bring emissions down. Other game-changers are working full speed to address the risks, such as flooding and drought. Speakers and workshops covered a broad range of initiatives and topics, from untapped opportunities of offshore energy production in the North Sea to public governance instruments and ways of cutting emissions from transport, agriculture and manufacturing of products.
Throughout the conference, the focus was on speeding up and expanding effective action to halt climate change as well as on preparing for the inevitable impacts. There was a strong feeling that we are confronting a huge task that can only be properly addressed by working together, across sectors, borders, and age gaps. The conference showcased lots of actions and initiatives that are being taken by both the public and private sectors in the region, and also discussed numerous possiblities for taking this further.
For the first time, youth was in focus at a North Sea Conference. Recognising the role of youth in pushing for climate action, the organisers had invited representatives of youth councils from around the North Sea as well as a speaker from the Scottish Climate 2050 group. The involvement of young people was seen as very positive at both ends of the age spectrum.
The conference is over, but regional cooperation to deal with climate change continues full speed. Thanks to all the super-engaged participants for your contributions, and see you next time!