Nordic countries and businesses view carbon pricing as key to delivering net zero, according to the CEOs of leading business groups the Climate Leadership Coalition, Haga Initiative, and Skift Business Leaders

Nordic countries have already demonstrated that decoupling economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions is not only possible, but beneficial. However, functioning as a playground for the development of global climate solutions, they can go further still.

That is why Nordic business leaders are calling on policymakers to introduce stronger regulation – and a study among 40 Nordic, business leaders indicates that carbon pricing is seen as one of the most important instruments to keep global warming to maximum of 1.5°C.

The 40 CEOs interviewed for the study represent companies with approximately 1.2 million employees and an aggregated revenue of around €326bn, corresponding to approximately 24 per cent of the GDP of the Nordic region.

In the study, these leading business figures voiced concern about climate change and its consequences, and expressed the need to ramp up climate actions The leadership of these Nordic enterprises felt the had a responsibility to be part of the solution by aligning with the 1.5°C target, delivering climate solutions worldwid, and also helping customers and countries to align with 1.5°C.

Nordic business leaders are also clear about the regulations they want to see. These include carbon pricing, higher climate criteria in public procurement, and standardised methodology on companies’ climate reporting. The majority of business leaders preferred carbon pricing, either in the form of carbon tax or an emission trading scheme, as a decarbonisation instrument, the study found.

Moreover, Nordic CEOs are ready to show leadership. Two-thirds of the responding companies stated that they are aligned with the 1.5°C target, which is ambitious in a global context. Nevertheless, they want to see sharper targets and incentives, also highlighting the need for long-term predictability.

The report indicates that Nordic companies, with their climate solutions, can help in decreasing their customers’ carbon footprint worldwide. There is no upper limit for this positive carbon handprint effect, and the Nordic home market can be used as a development platform for global climate solutions.

Smart policies would spur competitiveness on a global market and the Nordic region can become the most sustainable region in the world as well an export powerhouse for climate solutions. Act not talk is the key message from Nordic business leaders – followed by an important message to policymakers around the world to immediately implement effective carbon pricing.

Jouni Keronen is CEO of the Climate Leadership Coalition.

Nina Ekelund is CEO of the Haga Initiative.

Bjørn K. Haugland is CEO of Skift Business Leaders.

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