Reinfeldt challenges others to tackle climate change

The burden to tackle climate change should be carried by countries other than Sweden, prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has said in an interview following the release of this week's UN report on climate change.

Sweden has promised further measures to reduce its emissions, but Reinfeldt said that the bulk of the work needed to be done in other countries, where measures to tackle climate change would be more cost-effective.

“Sweden has advanced so far that we spend more on reducing emissions than many other countries, where they could do an awful lot for next to nothing,” Reinfeldt said in an interview with news agency TT, naming Brazil, the United States and African countries as examples.

Reinfeldt said he had not yet read the UN report. He nonetheless called for a global effort to tackle the threat of climate change. Many more countries need to participate and must exceed the aims for emission reduction in the Kyoto agreement, he said.

“Sweden has since 1990, the control year in the Kyoto protocol, experienced 36 percent economic growth. During the same period our greenhouse gas emissions have reduced by 7 percent. We have already taken many steps to break the trend of emissions and growth going hand in hand.

“We’ve spoken in terms of reducing emissions by 30 percent from the 1990 levels, and look like we’ll be able to do that together with many other important EU countries,” Reinfeldt said.

The prime minister said he thinks Swedes have long been environmentally aware.

“I would naturally encourage everyone to take their own action, but I think it is proper to tell the truth: this is a question that needs global answers.”

Reinfeldt said that it was a good idea for people who wanted to contribute to buy their own emission credits.

“It has become very popular to buy your own emission credits and practically became the present of the year last year,” he said.

The prime minister said that he would consider buying a greener car next time his family decided to change vehicle.