Romson emphasizes cooperation for climate
After the historic global agreement on tackling climate change was reached in Paris, Radio Sweden spoke to Environment Minister Åsa Romson on what this means for the environment and for Sweden.
"Just having an agreement where we are actually binding ourselves to cooperate worldwide on the issue of climate change and together stating the very important message to the world, to all actors that 'business as usual' does not work, we need to cut emissions, we have got to get rid of fossil fuel and that is a great challenge, but we are to cooperate on that matter. That is the overall message that is achieved with this agreement," Romson tells Radio Sweden.
The deal has been criticised for not containing any details as to when greenhouse gas emissions need to start going down. It merely says that the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity need to reach the same levels that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally, sometime during the second part of this century.
Sweden and the European Union had wanted clear targets already for 2050, but Romson says the deal that finally saw the light of day was the best that was possible in the circumstances.
"It was good enough for what the world's countries were prepared to agree on, and actually a bit more comprehensive than I feared when I went down to Paris for the final week of negotiations," she said, adding that the agreement "is only stating that we need to take action now and as soon as possible and we need to be more ambitious over time, and it is stated everywhere in the agreement and very much in the decisions taken that this is something we need to scale up fast".
Asked what the climate agreement can mean for environmental efforts in Sweden, Romson says it makes Sweden feel less lonely talking about the importance of trying to reverse the climate change and mitigates some of the effects that it is having. But, she adds, there are also big challenges to take on here, as a transport sector that still is heavily dependent on fossil fuels and consumption, where Swedes consume a lot of resources globally, but do not see the results here in terms of environmental harm and emissions.