ENVIRONMENT

Durban climate talks "won't be Big Bang"

Sweden's new environment minister, Lena Ek, has just returned from South Africa where she took part in preparatory talks for the climate change conference to be held in Durban later this year.

"Durban won't be the Big Bang, Durban will be many small steps in the right direction," she told daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

She admitted frustration at the slow pace of improvement but said, "I want us to return to feeling happiness when working for the environment."

Ek also listed several things she herself does to foster a sustainable lifestyle. She plants trees, drives a car powered by locally produced ethanol, heats her house with geothermal energy, and takes the train as often as possible.

"We all have a responsibility for how we live our lives but politicians need to make it possible to live ecologically," she told Dagens Nyheter.

"My criteria is that a single parent should have the time and the financial means to live in an environmentally friendly manner."

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