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Speech by Minister for Climate and the Environment Romina Pourmokhtari, at UNEA-6


Speech by Minister for Climate and the Environment Romina Pourmokhtari, at UNEA-6 in Nairobi, Thursday 29 February 2024. Check against delivery.

Madame President, esteemed excellencies, distinguished delegates, and esteemed advocates for the environment,

I stand before you today to convey a message of both urgency and opportunity. This urgency is rooted in scientific evidence and numerous reports highlighting the escalating triple planetary crisis. 

However, amidst this urgency lies an opportunity—a chance to embrace new industries, innovations, and economic growth through the green transition.

Climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution are not isolated issues; they are global challenges intricately linked and demanding global, interlinked solutions. Particularly concerning are matters pertaining to food systems and food security. While our pathways and timelines may differ, our shared objectives are unequivocal.

It is imperative that we take decisive action, diligently undertake the necessary work, and earnestly implement the policies required to honor our commitments.

Sweden applauds the historic agreement reached at COP28 in Dubai, signaling a decisive move away from fossil fuels. This represents a pivotal step towards a phase-out. 

Alongside renewable energy, nuclear energy must assume a central role in achieving global net-zero emissions.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing finance and fostering synergies with innovation and trade. 

Sweden stands ready to continue its role as a steadfast partner in expediting the transition to net-zero.

We must elevate our efforts to combat and reverse biodiversity loss. The implications of biodiversity loss extend beyond mere ecological concerns, profoundly impacting human and nature well-being. 

The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework presents a singular opportunity for a comprehensive, whole-of-government, and whole-of-society approach. 

We commend the active engagement of the business community and recognize the invaluable contributions of indigenous peoples and local communities in biodiversity conservation, restoration, and sustainable utilization.

Moreover, we advocate for enhanced synergies among biodiversity-related multilateral environmental agreements, as underscored at the Bern III conference. 

Urgent action is imperative to mitigate the adverse impacts of chemicals and pollution, which not only jeopardize human health but also serve as significant drivers of biodiversity loss. 

Plastic pollution, in particular, warrants immediate attention, and Sweden decisively supports endeavors aimed at achieving a legally binding global agreement on plastic pollution this year. We have to beat plastic pollution by 2040. It is the least we can do.

A circular and sustainable bioeconomy presents a viable avenue for realizing the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

Mitigating pollution is pivotal to ensuring a resource-efficient circular economy. We welcome the establishment of the new Global Framework on Chemicals, providing a clear pathway towards a planet free of harm from chemicals and waste.


We confront these unprecedented challenges amidst mounting geopolitical uncertainties, wherein the attainment of multilateral agreements grows increasingly difficult. 

Nonetheless, we have witnessed notable decisions and tangible progress in addressing the global environmental and climate agenda.

Let us endeavor to ensure that UNEA-6 delivers on the imperative for effective, inclusive, and sustainable multilateral actions. For the planet and for our future.

Thank you.