‘Don’t reduce consumption’ to tackle climate change

One of Sweden's most senior businessmen has warned against reducing consumption as a way of dealing with climate change. New technology must be used to fix the problem, Michael Treschow has said.

Treschow, outgoing chairman of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, and new chairman of Unilever, writes in a new book that climate change is the greatest threat to global growth.

“Environmental threats are what worry me most. That we won’t deal with them and feel comfortable that we have found the solutions,” he said in an interview with news agency TT.

He said that he was convinced that technical solutions would be found, but added that he was worried that people would lose faith in the idea that technology could solve the problems. Treschow said he was worried about the current debate, in which much emphasis is put on the need to limit consumption.

“If there are technological solutions to problems then one has every reason to be optimistic, because then it usually sorts itself out in some way. It can take time, but it often fixes itself,” he said.

He emphasized the importance for all modern companies to find solutions that are less environmentally damaging.

In his book, ‘Globaliserings Utmaningar’ (The Challenges of Globalization), he also argues that globalization threatens to make people afraid and shut themselves off from the outside world.

He added that Sweden was “extremely well-positioned” to take advantage of globalization.