Swedes join world climate protests

Participants in several demonstrations in Sweden on Saturday joined others around the world calling for action against climate change.

The protests were organised as a precurser to climate talks in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, starting on Monday and running until November 17th.

In Stockholm hundreds of people marched through the town and congregated in Medborgarplatsen. They carried banners with slogans such as ‘Change lifestyle – not the climate’.

The demonstrations were organised by a number of groups including the student organisation Cemus, Greenpeace, and the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC).

Kersti Nordlund, 86, was one of the protestors. It’s time to act, she said.

“I have learned not to worry about it – it’s better to go out and do what you can,” she told TT.

One of the speakers at Medborgarplatsen was the secretary general of SSNC, Svante Axelsson.

He noted that a strong demonstration of public feeling can create major changes and pointed to the fall of the Soviet and apartheid regimes.

“We can change the world if we get onto the streets and squares,” he said.

Axelsson said that it is extra important for Sweden and the EU to act against climate change.

“We must lead by example. If we don’t solve this there’s no way we can go to poor countries and ask them to change their energy systems.”

In Lund around 150 people gathered while several hundred joined a demonstration in Gothenburg’s Bältesspännarparken.

“There were many who joined in by making a climate promise,” said Mats Klingberg from Gothenburg’s environmental group.

For example, people promised to cut their energy use, drive their cars less or “to eat more vegetarian food”.

“In return they also want politicians to do something to reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” said Klingberg.