Sweden’s strategy ahead of COP21

Stockholm, Aug.19(Greenpost)–Sweden has drawn up a strategy that is to guide Sweden’s work ahead of the climate change conference, COP21, in Paris later this year, according to a statement published in the government website.

The strategy identifies priorities and positions in the Government’s climate policy at national, EU and international level.

The objectives and parts of the strategy

The overarching objective of the strategy is for the UN climate change conference in Paris in 2015 to result in a global, fair and legally binding climate agreement that helps to keep global warming as far below two degrees as possible over time. The strategy rests on three pillars:

  • Sweden is to be a leading country and tighten its national climate policy. Sweden is also pushing for the EU to raise its ambitions in terms of emissions reductions.
  • The new climate agreement needs to be dynamic so that countries’ binding emissions targets can be subsequently raised.
  • A good agreement will only be achieved if willing countries cooperate. Sweden is to prioritise cooperation with the countries that are also pushing for an ambitious agreement and that are most vulnerable to      the effects of climate change.

Climate change hits the already vulnerable the hardest

The effects of climate change affect all countries, but poor and vulnerable countries that do not have the resources to adapt to the changes are particularly hard hit. All countries must make the transition to a sustainable society with low emissions and high resilience to the effects of climate change. If done properly, a transition of this kind also has positive effects on economic development and poverty reduction, energy security and improved health, as well as important environmental targets such as clean air.

It is also important to take account of the challenges that come with such a transition. Sweden is encouraging a broader discussion on how the global investment flows can be aligned so that they support socially, economically and environmentally sustainable development with a considerably smaller prevalence of fossil fuels. Important global components include putting a price on carbon dioxide and not subsidising fossil energy.

Raised climate ambitions needed

A new climate agreement under the UN is crucial for international climate efforts. The agreement should be guided by science and include emissions commitments that, over time, can limit global warming to a level as far below two degrees as possible. This will require a higher level of climate ambition as well as new, enhanced initiatives in every country of the world and among central actors, including Sweden and the EU.

COP 21 can provide the political momentum to push forward a higher level of ambition concerning emission reductions also in the EU. Progress is needed regarding both emissions reductions and climate adaptation. Climate financing is important to strengthen climate action. Other tools and instruments for implementation, such as technology development, technology diffusion and capacity development, are also key to achieving the higher climate ambitions. Climate financing will be a crucial issue for whether the world can agree on a new climate agreement in Paris.

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