The event in Vilnius focused on Lithuania with some key findings, policy recommendations, and potential investment and business opportunities that result from scaling up effective climate solutions. The study by Nordic Green to Scale took country-specific circumstances, costs, and savings potential into consideration. More energy efficient buildings to save energy and windmill farms to produce green energy were high on the priority list for Lithuania.
Helén Nilsson, Director of the Nordic Council of Ministers office in Lithuania, said during her introduction that, “Climate change has gone from ‘If’ to ‘When’ to ‘Now’. There is a growing urgency for implementation of new actions on local and international levels.” She added, “The Nordic Green to Scale is one good example of sharing best practices of working together in our Nordic-Baltic region. Nordic countries are willing to share success stories and learn from costly mistakes that are wise to be avoided so that we can move faster forward.”
Then it was the Swedish Ambassador, Maria Christina Lundqvist providing the opening remarks. Sweden holds this year the chairmanship in the Nordic Council of Ministers and ambassador Lundqvist said, “An inclusive, sustainable, innovative, secure, and open Nordic region, those are the key priorities set out for the Swedish chairmanship”. She added, “The Baltic Sea with unites the Nordic and Baltic countries is also facing great climate changes as it is the sea on the northern hemisphere that heats up the fastest.”
Environment Minister, Kęstutis Navickas was the keynote speaker and he sketched an overview of what has been achieved and some of the priorities of the present government. The Vice Minister of Energy, Vidmantas Macevičius focused on some of the projects that have been initiated over the last 10 years and are now providing real results such as the Fortum project in Klaipėda that transforms household waste into energy.
It was then up to Senior Advisor of the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, Oras Tynkkynen to present with evocative style the key findings of the report. Gains will come from implementing a number of solutions to control emission reductions in particular more efficient buildings and more energy efficient public transport. Energy coming from windmill farms, an area where Denmark delivered so much innovation in the past appears to offer most for Lithuania. Although Poland and Ukraine will provide in absolute numbers the largest emission reductions, the Baltic countries and particularly Lithuania will reduce the most in percentage.
Senior Director Søren Mortensen from the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) provided some insights into the important role that the NIB plays in funding some of the projects. He said, “NIB is owned by the Nordic and Baltic countries. In Lithuania, the Bank has financed a number of projects that improve the energy efficiency of public and residential buildings, and is keen to support other sustainable projects in the future.” He invited potential projects by adding, “This includes infrastructure investments, municipal transport, water, wastewater, and renewable energy projects.”
A panel discussion that included the speakers and Mr. Kristian Rehnström the Director, Fortum and Martynas Nagevičius, President, Lithuanian Renewable Energy Confederation concluded the presentation of the report.