Yvonne Ruwaida, state secretary to the minister for the environment Photo: TT/Sveriges Radio/Kristian Pohl/Regeringskansliet
Photo: TT/Sveriges Radio/Kristian Pohl/Regeringskansliet

Climate talks: Sweden calls on developed nations to do more to reduce emissions

3:58 min

We are only a week away from the climate change summit in Paris. Radio Sweden spoke to Yvonne Ruwaida, state secretary to the minister for the environment about the key issues and why developed countries must do more to reduce emissions.

"One of the most important things that we have to solve is that we have a 'just' treaty, and by just, I mean that the rich countries will take their responsibility for climate financing but also for climate adaptation. We also have to help poorer countries to be able to have the technique to measure their mitigation and to have a good system," Yvonne Ruwaida says.

According to her, the main obstacle in reaching the agreement is the risk that countries fail to cooperate with each other.

 "We have to try to unite the world, because we are standing ahead of big challenges that we can only solve together. We also have to display leadership in showing that we do what we can in order to raise climate ambitions."

In many ways, the climate meeting in Copenhagen 2009 was a disappointment and ended without the signing of a new global agreement on climate change.

Ruwaida says that her expectations ahead of the meeting in Paris are very high and people are aware that the world cannot afford another Copenhagen.

"Sweden has been working with more ambition than before with issues like climate funding and climate mitigation nationally. These actions, together with the role of countries working as bridge builders will hopefully promote better results in the climate meeting," she says.

Seven government ministers will attend the climate meeting, along with Swedish royalty. Minister for the environment, Åsa Romson will lead the 60-person Swedish delegation.

Up until today, 169 countries have agreed to lower their greenhouse gas emissions. However, several key issues remain unsolved, including the legal status of the agreement.

In total, 138 world leaders are expected to attend on the opening day. The recent terrorist attacks have overshadowed the climate meeting and the ban on public gatherings will remain until after the climate meeting.

One event that has been cancelled is the climate march, which was meant to gather around a million activists on the streets of Paris on 29 November. Anna Marklund, climate ambassador of non-profit organization Diakonia, had planned to participate and was disappointed after hearing the news.

"This entire year we've been working really hard on our campaign; Act Now For Climate Justice, and the climax of the campaign was that we were all going to go in a bus to Paris and take part in this rally, so of course it's a big disappointment," says Marklund.

However, all the work they have put in will not go to waste. Instead of Paris, there will be a climate march in Stockholm. Together with the Swedish church and numerous Swedish organizations, Diakonia will march from Norra Bantorget to Mynttorget on 29 November.

The aim is to raise awareness of the importance of the agreement.

After the terrorist attacks, the government in Paris declared a state of emergency. However, it said that France is not succumbing to fear and stress and the climate meeting will go ahead as planned.

Marklund applauds the decision.

"I think it's great that it is happening because now, more than ever, it's important to show people that climate is a very important question. It's more important than ever and this year really is a super chance."

The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 or CMP 11 will be held in Paris, from November 30 to December 11.

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