Norway has one of the greenest energy profiles in the world with hydro energy powering many towns and industries.
Scotland prides itself on having the most ambitious climate change targets. But are both these oil producing North Sea neighbours facing up to the real speed of climate change?
Temperatures in the high north are increasing much faster than the rest of the globe. Permafrost is thawing. Sea ice is disappearing, both summer and winter. Distributions and sizes of northern fish stocks are changing. Melting of Arctic glaciers and the Greenland ice cap are causing sea level to rise.
Across the world, the higher concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere is changing the Earth’s climate, increasing surface temperatures and shifting the distribution and intensity of rainfall at a rate unprecedented in human history. Impacts of climate change on water and food security, and human health, will be dramatic, and for some regions beyond the adaptation limits of society.
But beside these threats, sit commercial opportunities.
Less sea ice makes commercial activities more attractive in the high north. This adds extra stress to an already vulnerable Arctic ecosystem.
Is exploitation of oil and gas in harmony with green growth and in line with the Paris agreement?
Will deep sea mining become a safe industrial adventure or an environmental catastrophe?
Who will benefit from changes in fish stocks? When will the northern transport routes become commercially attractive? Should tourism be limited?
Tore Furevik is Professor in physical oceanography at the University of Bergen’s Geophysical Institute. His bio is here.
Following a sold out Nordic Horizons meeting, here are the meeting notes. You can download Krister Lindstedt's fascinating powerpoint presentation, you can listen to the whole presentation and view a short video interview with Krister Lindstedt.
It's all here - please feel free to share and pass on. If you are interested , there is a fairly extensive archive of digital materials to explore on this website, Soundcloud and Vimeo channels.
The city of Kiruna in the north of Sweden is about to undergo one of the biggest urban transformations of our time. Due to land deformation caused by mining activity the entire city must be relocated approximately two miles east over the course of the next century. The relocation is a huge challenge, provoking anxiety and anticipation among the 18,200 citizens. But it is also an unparalleled opportunity for Kiruna to transform itself into a more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable city.
White’s competition winning vision for the transformation project, financed by the mining company, aims to create a sustainable model city that is less dependent on the world market for iron ore. The new Kiruna will offer residents a better place to live whilst transposing the character, familiarity and sense of place of the Kiruna they know.
Is there anything Scotland can learn from this painstaking consultation to make sure big strategic changes to towns and cities are properly considered and gain popular support?
Krister Lindstedt has 30 years of experience as an architect and urban planner. His strategies are always underpinned by thorough research and citizen dialogue, which is key as Lead Architect of the master plan and the sustainability strategy for the transformation of Kiruna.
"Co-operation in Finland" will be the topic of the next Cross Party Group on Co-operatives in conjunction with Nordic Horizons on Tuesday 23 February at 6pm in the Scottish Parliament, sponsored by Willie Coffey MSP. The speaker is Kari Huhtala, Director of co-operation with Pellervo, the Finnish co-op trade association.
Kari will discuss the scale of Finland's 5,000 co-operatives across traditional agriculture, retail and banking sectors as well as the new wave of co-op start-ups as a response to the economic depression of the 90's.'
Details of how to apply for tickets will be given here shortly. Tickets will be made available via Eventbrite; so watch this space, our Facebook group and follow us, @nordichorizons on Twitter.
The "Nurturing Nature" event with Dr Duncan Halley of the Norwegian Institute of Nature Research was an interesting and thought provoking evening. Committee Room 3 in the Parliament was full and there was a large audience on the livestream. We have put together all the digital materials from the event; a short interview, a video recording of the talk , downloadable copy of the slides and audio of the whole session. The material is here.