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“Sweden must continue to lead the way on climate action”


The One Planet Summit begins in Paris on 12 December, and Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, Isabella Lövin will be there. Below she talks about the summit and a new Swedish climate initiative.

Isabella Lövin
Isabella Lövin, Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister Photo: Kristian Pohl/Government Offices of Sweden

The One Planet Summit begins in Paris on 12 December. What kind of summit is it?

The summit is an initiative of French President Emmanuel Macron, and its aim is to speed up the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The summit will focus on the financing of measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the impact of climate change, particularly in developing countries. President Macron's initiative came shortly after the United States withdrew from the Paris Agreement and drastically cut its share of funding to international climate action. In light of this, it is vital that other countries increase their contributions. For this Government, it goes without saying that Sweden must continue to lead the way on climate action.

What are your expectations of the summit?

The situation is extremely serious. Climate change is happening here and now, and research shows we have very little time to act. Nevertheless, the growing will among many countries to also take action makes me hopeful. The starting point of the summit is the need to speed up our efforts to fight climate change and to work together. There is incredible strength in this. I hope and believe that we will hear about a number of hope-inspiring initiatives from participating countries.

How many countries will take part in the summit?

Some 130 countries are expected to take part, and around 50 heads of state or government.

Which issues will you highlight in particular?

This summit is largely about cooperation and creating new partnerships and initiatives, which is why I will share examples of successful climate action under way in Sweden. This includes our pioneering climate act that enters into force in January, our ambitious climate objectives and how various actors are now deeply engaged in greening Sweden to enable us to be the world's first fossil-free welfare nation. One exciting area in this regard is our Green Industry Leap budget initiative, which provides central government support to transition to fossil-free industry in Sweden. Sweden could be the first country to produce steel without using coal, a development that seemed inconceivable just a few years ago. I believe we have much to gain by seeing the opportunities involved in transitioning to a sustainable society.

Many countries are expected to launch new initiatives during the summit. What will Sweden contribute?

Since the major focus is on financing, we will highlight the Stockholm Sustainable Finance Centre that was launched a week ago. This is a knowledge centre led by the Stockholm School of Economics and the Stockholm Environment Institute, and co-financed by the Government. The Centre will help build expertise and capacity for sustainable investments by financial market actors, not least in developing countries. Sweden has extensive knowledge in this area, which we naturally want to share.