Eco-efficiency Answer to Crises
The mountain town of Åre in the north of Sweden is currently hosting an informal meeting of European environment and energy ministers. The meeting means to prepare EU ministers for the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December this year.
In meetings from Thursday to Saturday, the ministers discuss how Europe can develop an eco-efficient economy - an answer which might hold the solution to both the financial crisis and climate change.
For Minister of the Environment Andreas Carlgren and Minister for Enterprise and Energy, Maud Olofsson, eco-efficiency is the way to start solving two of the world's looming problems: climate change and the current financial crisis.
Andreas Carlgren sees the Åre meetings as the time and the place when eco-efficiency was finally placed at the head of the EU's schedule for the next few years.Maud Olofsson, also believes that the current meeting in Åre is going to change the focus of European political discussions by introducing eco-efficiency as an answer to both the financial crisis and the looming climate change.
But according to Andreas Carlgren, this will be demanding for the environment ministers. Especially with the Copenhagen conference coming up in the near future - but also following on from that.
"We must make sure that the EU continues their work on climate issues," he said to Radio Sweden.
The answer thinks Maud Olofsson is to show politicians that environmental issues are not just a burden. And that bringing the EU to the forefront in regards to eco-efficiency will ultimately prove beneficial for all its citizens.
"The discussions on an eco-efficient economy is a way to show that climate change is also an opportunity, because we can create more jobs if we are just more efficient," she said.
Radio Sweden's Olgica Lindquist was in Åre and spoke to the Swedish ministers.