The climate has been one of the key issues for the Swedish Presidency this autumn. The UN Climate Change Conference is still going on in Copenhagen and as President of the EU, Sweden is working intensively to reach a good agreement.
The Swedish Presidency has had the responsibility to unite the EU on the climate issue and the country also shoulders a heavy responsibility for ensuring negotiations move forward.
“This agreement must include all countries and contain extensive undertakings to reduce emissions so that the two-degree target can be met. It is necessary to have a legally binding agreement as soon as possible after Copenhagen,” says Andreas Carlgren, Swedish Minister for the Environment.
With only two days left of the worldwide climate conference in Copenhagen, determination and expectations to reach a good agreement are intensifying. The EU hopes that broad political unity can be reached.
“The world has waited long enough. The breakthrough must happen here and now. Now is the time to give and take”, said Andreas Carlgren during the climate conference.
The climate – a key issue for Sweden’s entire Presidency
Several ministerial configurations have discussed the climate issue during the autumn’s council sessions and informal ministerial meetings. The climate has, for example, been discussed by environment, energy and finance ministers as well as in the European Council.
European Heads of State and Government agreed on what is known as fast start funding at the summit in Brussels on 10-11 December. Fast start funding relates to the money needed to kick-start climate adaptation measures in developing countries during 2010-2012. The figure for the EU amounted to EUR 2.4 billion per year between 2010 and 2012.
Four environmental issues have been given top priority
During the Swedish Presidency, the spotlight has been turned on the climate issue from a broader perspective. Four environmental issues have been highlighted as particularly important, one of which is the climate. The other three are: an eco-efficient economy, biodiversity and the marine environment, focusing on the Baltic Sea.
“The economic significance of biodiversity must be brought to the fore. Putting a price on the services provided by nature is one way of clarifying what is required to preserve biodiversity. Our approach to nature’s services must change. We must use the ecosystems without using up nature’s capital,” says Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren.