Reinfeldt: climate a top priority

The climate question is to join jobs at the top of the government's list of priorities, according to Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

The Oil Commission established by Göran Persson will continue its work under Reinfeldt’s leadership. The commission’s proposals to vastly reduce Sweden’s oil dependency by 2020 are to be sent out to the relevant bodies for consideration.

“It is good to have a development strategy if we are to put pressure on oil use,” Reinfeldt told TT.

“But we must do so with a basis in the market. By that I mean that we work arm in arm with the automotive industry and truck manufacturers”, he said.

A series of recent reports have put the environment back at the top of the agenda for politicians and the general public.

But Reinfeldt wonders why it took ten years for Tony Blair and Göran Persson to come up with concrete proposals.

“It is typical that that they do something like this when they are on their way out from politics.

Reinfeldt wants Sweden to play a leading role on environmental issues before assuming the EU presidency in 2009. But he does not want global warming to cloud the pursuit of jobs and growth.

“I think we have to be honest. Even if we do find really effective ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions we are still in a process whereby the climate is going to become warmer for the duration of our lives,” said Reinfeldt.