No climate agreement when Reinfeldt meets Bush

There will be no signed agreement on the environment nor a joint declaration on climate change when Sweden's prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt meets US president George Bush this week.

Reinfeldt is travelling to the US on Sunday and the main focus of the trip is to discuss climate policies. He is due to meet the president on Tuesday.

When the plans for the visit were outlined in April by America’s ambassador in Stockholm, Michael Wood, it appeared that there would be two signed agreements on climate-related cooperation between the countries.

The agreements were related to research into alternative energy sources and biofuels. But the plans for the signings have been ditched.

“We were a bit too optimistic about how much we would have time for on May 15th,” said Robert B. Hilton at the US embassy in Stockholm.

However, he emphasised to Svenska Dagbladet that the closing of the agreements had been merely delayed and that there was no difference of opinion on the subject. The two countries hope that negotiations can instead take place over the summer.

The ambitions for Reinfeldt’s visit have been trimmed in several areas, reported SvD, which discovered that the White House rejected a joint declaration with Sweden on climate change.

One reason is said to be the fact that the US recently made a joint statement on climate issues with the EU. A separate statement with various EU countries is therefore seen as pointless, said SvD’s sources.