Swedish PM underlines importance of COP21

COP21 is "one of the most important meetings we will ever have," says Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, pictured above in Washington, DC in March 2015. (Mandel Ngan / AFP/ Getty Images)
COP21 is “one of the most important meetings we will ever have,” says Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, pictured above in Washington, DC in March 2015. (Mandel Ngan / AFP/ Getty Images)
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has arrived in Paris for the start of the UN climate conference aimed at agreeing a new global approach to climate change.

He calls it “one of the most important meetings we will ever have”.

Sweden and 195 UN countries are participating in the negotiations aimed at limiting global warming to 2C. The talks will continue until December 11.

Sweden has been seen by some as a bridge builder in the talks between developed and developing countries and the funds needed to carbon emissions.

Climate priority for Sweden

At a press briefing in the conference centre in Le Bourget, north-east of the French capital, Löfven said that he is proud to lead a government that prioritises the climate.

“Sweden is the biggest donor per capita to the green climate fund,” he said and announced that in addition to the 4 billion SEK that Sweden already has given to the fund, another 150 million will go to the UN adaptation fund, and an additional 100 million to the fund for the least developed countries.

All 150 heads of state gathered at the meeting this Monday will around lunchtime have three minutes each to make a statement. Löfven will speak just after lunch.

Agreement first step

At the press conference, Löfven noted that what is currently on the table will not go all the way to keeping global warming at 2 degrees, “but if we now negotiate a dynamic agreement it will go far”.

There are fears from the group of least developed countries that they will be ‘left behind’ in the scramble for a new deal, and Sweden’s prime minister  said the rich must take responsibility.

“The rich world must take the lead and show solidarity. Sweden has been working for this for decades and I am proud to lead a government that gives priority to the climate issue. Sweden will be one of the world’s first fossil fuel-free welfare nation,” Löfven said.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: COP21 – View from Nunavut, Canada, Eye on the Arctic

Finland:  Finnish negotiators optimistic about COP21, Yle News

Germany:  Energy giant sued for climate change, Deutsche Welle

Norway:  Arctic residents in hot water, Deutsche Welle’s Iceblogger

Sweden:  Sweden hosts global climate conference for kids, Radio Sweden

United States:  Cleaner atmosphere means more Arctic ice melt: study, Alaska Dispatch News


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