Climate issues have fallen into the background of Sweden’s national election campaign, reports SR International.
Just a year ago, environmental issues had taken center stage in advance of the climate meeting in Copenhagen. Sweden was leading of the EU and the government was driving the debate in Europe towards the rest of the world. But now a year later, Sweden has shifted its focus to the economy and social welfare.
Svante Axelsson, general secretary for the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, told SR International that he is disappointed with how the parties have focused the elections. He added that there are big divisions within the political blocks on environmental issues. This is why he believes the parties have chosen not to profile themselves on these questions.
In the latest opinion poll by Synovate, the environment has also lost popularity, falling from fifth to ninth place as an issue important to voters.
Meanwhile, the election debates indicate that at least two groups are coming out on top: restaurant owners and pensioners. Both political blocks have promised to cut restaurant taxes in half.
As for retirees, the Opposition parties are courting them by pushing to do away with the difference between how they are taxed in comparison to wage-earners. Currently in Sweden, pensioners generally pay more tax.