Climate conference in Cancun, Mexico.
climate change

Sweden hopes to play important role in Cancun

3:05 min

Sweden hopes to play a leading role as the United Nation’s climate conference starts today in Cancun, Mexico, and Sweden does have what it takes, according to chief negotiator Anders Turesson.

Sweden’s position within the European Union is strong when it comes to climate issues and this makes it possible for us to have an impact on the UN meeting in Cancun, he told Radio Sweden.

“In addition Sweden can contribute to a dialogue and to creating trust in different ways,” he said. “And we have good relationships with many developing countries; and we should take advantage of these relationships.”

But the hopes that an agreement can be reached during the conference are almost non-existent. This is a follow-up to the climate conference in Copenhagen, Denmark last year, which ended in disappointment. The meeting in Cancun should be considered a small step in the right direction as a world wide agreement on how to prevent climate change and reduce emissions is at least two years away, according to experts.

But Sweden could do a lot more to push important policies within the EU according to Svante Axelsson, the general secretary of the Society for the Conservation of Nature. For example Sweden should have pushed for a union wide agreement to reduce emissions by 30 percent by 2020 instead of the current agreement of 20 percent.

But, he adds, Sweden has a unique position to project itself as a model for other countries since Sweden has already reduced its emissions by 14 percent, more than what was required by the Kyoto Protocol.

“I think that is extremely important since that shows that we are doing well. That we are a country with good economic growth and welfare,” Axelsson told Radio Sweden. “And that might be the most important message to the world; that it actually is possible to feel better as a country and become less dependent on oil.”

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