Nordic Initiative for Cooperative Approaches

International market-based collaboration to build capacity and foster partnerships among Nordic public and private actors

International partnerships to accelerate climate action

The Nordic Initiative for Cooperative Approaches (NICA) seeks to operationalise international market-based collaboration under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. NICA strives to demonstrate how international partnerships can support, scale up and accelerate ambitious climate action, promote sustainable development and harness private sector finance and innovation. It aims to build capacity and foster partnerships among Nordic public and private actors and their global peers for collaboration that is compatible with the Paris Agreement.

NICA seeks to foster partnerships also between Nordic private and municipal actors and their global peers that can deliver real and lasting mitigation outcomes, promote higher ambition, harness private sector finance and innovation and deliver sustainable development, including adaptation co-benefits. NICA activities aim to contribute to the development of robust and practical international rules for international transfers of mitigation outcomes to ensure that such market-based cooperation contributes to the goals of the Paris Agreement.

NICA was jointly developed by Finland, Norway, Sweden and Nefco. There was a strong interest and willingness to continue cooperation in collaboration with Nefco broadly in line with the previous Nordic Partnership Initiative collaboration, but also considering the major developments in international climate policy: the Paris Agreement and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), i.e., countries’ climate actions under the Agreement.

The Nordic countries have an extensive track record in supporting ambitious climate action and sustainable development in developing countries and promoting carbon pricing around the world. NICA brings this experience and cooperation into the Paris Agreement era as the Nordic countries continue to join forces to facilitate international partnerships for ambitious climate action that is compatible with the Paris Agreement framework. Under NICA, the Nordic countries will also continue to engage with the international carbon pricing community to promote knowledge sharing, coordination and collaboration.

Current activities

NICA has been mapping and screening feasible opportunities for piloting Article 6 in various countries. NICA will continue to support implementation of the carbon market mechanisms under the Paris Agreement also acknowledging the need for close collaboration with voluntary carbon markets.

Recent activities include development of key documentation for potential Article 6 transactions in collaboration with various stakeholders. Read a Summary report of pilot activity development for Nordic Initiative for Cooperative Approaches (NICA) published in July 2022.

Read more about the event Nordic approaches to support global carbon market cooperation, which was organised in connection to COP26 and our summary news story Key takeaways and highlights from Nefco organised events.

The focus of the initiative

The focus of NICA co-operation will be on supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement and in particular on operationalising international market-based collaboration under the agreement’s Article 6. NICA will demonstrate how voluntary collaboration can be used to enhance ambition, support sustainable development, accelerate climate action and include private sector participation.

The activities for the initiative build upon major Nordic experience in the development and use of the Kyoto Protocol’s flexible mechanisms (Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation). The activity also supports Nefco’s continued positioning as an important player in the carbon markets.

Available funding

Financing will initially be grants with co-funding components likely to be required going forward. Supported activities and projects will be procured utilising Nefco’s Procurement Rules also with possible Calls for Proposals.


The NICA initiative is funded by Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Working Group for Climate and Air, and Nefco. Iceland and Denmark are also participating in the NICA initiative.

The Nordic Council of Ministers
Nefco logo in black

Contact us

Kari Hämekoski Senior Programme Manager
Finnish, English, Swedish

Nefco carbon market activities

Since 2003, Nefco has established and managed several groundbreaking carbon funds that harness the power of carbon markets. Our carbon funds have provided a pioneering testing ground for innovative, market-based approaches.

Read more about Nefco carbon market initiatives

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