Published March 12, 2009
The new climate and clean energy package proposed by Sweden should serve as an example for all EU countries ahead of crucial global warming negotiations, WWF says. If followed by other industrialised nations the deal could lead towards a low carbon future and help combat climate change.
Sweden is just preparing to take over the EU’s rotating presidency and it is likely to play a major role during important international meetings culminating in the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, in December, where leaders from about 190 countries will try to agree a global deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.
Sweden’s Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren said that his country now aims by 2020 for renewable energy to comprise 50 percent of all energy produced, for the Swedish car fleet to be independent of fossil fuels 10 years later and for the country to be carbon neutral by 2050.
“We think it is fantastic that the government recognises the important role that eco-efficiency plays in improving the economy,” Lasse Gustavsson, Secretary general of WWF in Sweden said. “If the Swedish government can convince other industrial countries to adapt Sweden’s ambitious climate package, the world would be better suited for combating destructive climate change,” he said.
Sweden, which now plans to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from its 1990 levels within the next 11 years, was asked to cut CO2 output by just 17 percent.
The government said it would stay committed to the proposed goals and that they were independent of whether or not a global climate agreement is achieved.
It wants to reach these goals through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Carlrgren said.
Unfortunately, according to WWF, CDM is currently an ineffective system in desperate need of reform. WWF’s concern is that unless serious reforms of the CDM system are enacted, there is a risk that the 40 percent goal will be watered down to a mere 27 percent.
“We would prefer to see a greater portion of these reductions made within Sweden’s own borders,” Mr Gustavsson said.