Manifesto for the 2024 EU elections

Cleantech for Nordics was established in 2022 and is a regional coalition comprising 15 of the most active investors in cleantech in the Nordics with combined ownership in more than 150 Nordic cleantech companies. The EU elections are approaching, and in June, EU citizens will have the opportunity to cast their votes and shape the future of Europe. The cleantech sector presents significant opportunities for job creation, economic growth, and tackling climate change. The EU is a key enabler for Nordic cleantech as it can design policies that influences markets, research agendas, and growth capital. By prioritizing cleantech, the EU contributes to securing Europe’s competitiveness and growth.

A well-functioning cleantech ecosystem is a pillar for income generation and a prerequisite for job growth

We see an impressive number of growing companies dedicated to addressing environmental challenges in the Nordics, and our region has become a hotbed for global cleantech investment, attracting exceptionally high amounts of growth capital per capita. The cleantech sector and the international exports it entails plays a pivotal role in our economy and future job landscape. We consider it crucial to provide these companies with enabling conditions to scale up and expand onto international markets. Not only will this help us in tackling climate change, it will also foster job growth and boost export revenues. To support these companies and scale this sector, willingness to share our insights and learn from others is one of the keys. This openness not only strengthens our economy and relationships with other nations but is also a cost-effective way to reduce emissions. While additional funding is imperative, it is essential to consider how this scale-up funding can be designed to ensure a level playing field among sectors, regions, and nations, while also incentivizing private capital allocation to the industry. We need an active EU cleantech investment strategy that involves strong interaction with the private market players to accelerate and strengthen this industrial transition.

Battery company Northvolt currently stands as one of Europe’s largest industrial start-ups, securing significant venture capital. Its growth contributes not only to environmental sustainability, but also drives job creation and economic development in the Nordic region. In the city of Skelleftea, located in northern Sweden and hosting one of Northvolt’s factories, the population is expected to increase from 75,000 to 90,000 by the end of this decade-a stark contrast to the declining trend observed in the rest of northern Sweden.

The vital role of the EU Common Market in driving cleantech growth

For many Nordic cleantech companies, Europe acts as our first stepping stone when going global, and Nordic innovators and their supply chains are strengthened by a robust and effective cleantech landscape across the continent. Commitment to a low-emission scenario and high environmental ambitions serves as a base for a strong industrial cleantech trajectory, and we believe it is advantageous for both the EU and the Nordics to take the lead on this issue globally. With harmonized policies and frameworks across Europe, the EU can be the world’s best growth market for cleantech, fostering innovation and growth across the region. When coupled with strategic measures, such as the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), we can level the playing field between carbon-intensive products and those with lower footprints. This provides customers with essential information on embedded carbon and accelerates the uptake of cleaner solutions by steering towards lower carbon intensity.

The Nordics have long been at the forefront of sustainability, with the ambitious goal set by the Nordic Council of Ministers for the region to become the most sustainable and integrated in the world. Throughout the Nordics, we witness numerous examples of successful cleantech innovators and practices, showcasing the region’s commitment to global sustainability. Finland, for instance, has emerged as a leader in the circular economy. Companies like Swappie illustrate Finland’s dedication by refurbishing and reselling pre-owned smartphones, effectively reducing electronic waste and extending the lifespan of these devices. This commitment to sustainability is echoed across the Nordics, and from green steel to printed solar cells and electric transport, Nordic cleantech solutions are finding their way to global markets and driving positive change worldwide.

We need clear, predictable, harmonized policies and frameworks

We believe in policies and frameworks that are easy to understand and offer long-term stability. Policies that face reversal due to government changes or budget constraints pose challenges for investors and entrepreneurs seeking reliability. Instead, we advocate for strong, long-term policies that can guide investors and industry effectively. Another crucial part of supporting the cleantech transition is to simplify procedures and simply allow the movement to take off. We have plenty of evidence that solutions arise when market conditions reflect the environmental challenges ahead. We believe in strategic involvement and financial support for facilitating necessary shifts, intervening only when necessary to surpass technological roadblocks ingrained in dominant, more polluting solutions.

We look to Denmark as an example whose long-term policy frameworks and strong commitment to wind power contributed to Denmark becoming global leaders in wind energy. This fostered economic growth locally and contributed to the global expansion of wind energy. Today, Denmark may be gearing up for a similar journey, putting dedicated efforts into Power-to-X. We also see how the polluter pays principle sends clear signals and helps build markets for products that are positive for our ecosystem. This is exemplified by the Swedish carbon tax (with equivalents in all Nordic countries, even though Sweden currently has the highest tax rate). Without this tax, it is estimated that Swedish carbon emissions in 2015 would have been approximately 30% higher than if the carbon tax had not been established.


Atte Harjanne, Greens/EFA

Katri Kulmuni, Renew

Ville Kaunisto, EPP

Merja Kyllönen, GUE/NGL

Coalition Members