SDSN Northern Europe
Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development at Chalmers University of Technology and University of Gothenburg
SDSN Northern Europe is an action-oriented network focusing on mobilizing Nordic scientific and technological expertise to create a more sustainable society. Through a wide set of activities and initiatives, its members from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland link knowledge to action to implement the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement.
Solutions Initiative Forum Air
More than 90% of the world population lives in areas in which the WHO guideline values for air pollution are exceeded. This results in 8 million deaths globally every year. To bring forward solutions to this challenge, SDSN Northern Europe and the Gothenburg Air and Climate Network organized the ‘Solutions Initiative Forum (SIF) - Air’ on the 28th of August 2019. SIF Air and the accompanying Air Solutions Report presented 20 solutions for improved air quality, as well as up to date knowledge on past, present and future air pollution, public health implications, regulations and policies, and concrete examples of mitigation.
SDSN Northern Europe was in the final stage of preparing its first member conference when the Covid-19 crisis caused societies all over the world to go into lockdown and social distancing. The network quickly decided to instead arrange an online mini-version of the conference, which was held on the 26th of March 2020. The conference presented the SDSN Northern Europe strategy, the latest Solution Initiative of the network – The Climate Framework for Higher Education Institutions - and experiences from how to report to the University Impact Rankings by SDG by Times Higher Education. In addition, the two co-chairs and two members of the Leadership Council discussed Sustainable Development from the Nordic Perspective.
Solution Initiative - The Climate Framework for Higher Education Institutions
The challenge of climate change will require changes from all sectors of society. In Sweden, 37 universities and colleges have signed the Climate Framework for Higher Education Institutions, of which 18 are SDSN Northern Europe members. Thereby, they will set up and implement climate strategies with the aim of contributing to both national and international commitments to reach the 1.5 C target. This means for example, that the participating institutions will allocate a budget, define responsibilities and resources, and report on their emissions and the development to reach this target. SDSN Northern Europe is actively supporting and communicating about this initiative.
By June 2020, over 2,400 users were registered worldwide in the free online resource, the SDG Impact Assessment Tool, launched back in February 2019. SDSN Northern Europe now aims to publish a guide for the tool and organise online seminars and workshops to support its use. Similar to the EU policy recommendations from the Beyond Growth Conference in Helsinki 2019, the network will continue to engage in the Science-Policy interface at local, national, Nordic and EU levels. In addition, the network is analyzing SDG performance of Nordic municipalities and cites, aiming to publish a municipality-level Nordic SDG Index.
In the area of sustainability in general, but especially in the climate issue, I believe that collaboration is essential. If someone has a key to good climate work, they should share it with others.