Climate target hard to meet

Extension of Deadline for Green Targets

It is unrealistic to achieve all the environmental targets set up by Swedish parliament in 1999, according to the Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren. On Tuesday the Government proposed stretching the time frames of the targets.

"The targets should not be impossible, that undermines the confidence in the system," Carlgren told the news agency TT.

The purpose of the targets, when they were introduced, was to create a way to measure the efficiency of the environment policies in the medium and long term. 16 targets were set up, and were supposed to be achieved by 2020. Now the Government wants to change the time frame, so that the targets are met "within a generation". At the same time, benchmark targets along the way are introduced.

According to Andreas Carlgren, one of the targets - to keep a protective ozone layer - is nearly met. Another ten targets are also achievable. But four targets Carlgren thinks will be very hard to reach in the stipulated time frame: the limiting the effect on the climate, a poison free environment, a good town environment and a protection of the biological diversity.

"The difficulty is that nature needs a long time to recover, but also that the issues sometimes are completely dependent on international measures," says Carlgren.

Swedish Society for Nature Conservation is positive to proposed system with targets and benchmark targets, and the organisation's general secretary tells TT that it is a relief that a system with targets remains, since "there has been talk of scrapping the system all together".

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