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Sweden pushes India and China to act on climate

AFP/The Local · 26 Sep 2009, 08:15

Published: 26 Sep 2009 08:15 GMT+02:00

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Countries such as China and India must turn public pronouncements on limiting greenhouse gases into "concrete actions," the Swedish EU presidency stated on Friday.

"Recent encouraging public statements from the big emerging economies about limiting their emissions growth need to be turned into concrete actions and put on the negotiating table as well," Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren said in a statement.

The Swedish presidency of the EU and the European Commission, in a joint statement, called on international negotiators to make decisive progress towards an ambitious global agreement on fighting climate change at two weeks of world talks in Bangkok starting on 28 September.

The Bangkok meeting is the penultimate preparatory session before the UN climate conference in Copenhagen in December at which the global deal is due to be concluded.

European Union nations last December agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020. They now want a 30 percent cut to be agreed globally in Copenhagen.

Even more important for a global deal is securing substantial undertakings from the major emerging economies of China, India, Russia and Brazil.

On Friday, Zhang Guobao, the head of China's National Energy Administration, said China will continue to rely on heavily polluting coal for most of its energy needs "for a long time."

Earlier this month India said it was ready to set itself non-binding targets for cutting carbon emissions in a bid to shed its image as an intransigent polluter.

EU officials have voiced disappointment that previous rounds of climate talks have achieved little.

Story continues below…

Speaking at a United Nations climate summit and the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh earlier this week, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said negotiations on a new global warming deal were moving far too slowly.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:24 September 26, 2009 by karex
That's good, they can start by placing demands on foreign companies that set up operations there. Companies which are used to following different rules elsewhere and may decide to go the cheaper route if local rules are less restrictive.

Goals must be set. It is difficult to work towards achieving a moving target.
12:24 September 26, 2009 by Jay02
Developing countries will commit to non binding national goals for now with a possibility of binding targets after reaching a level of prosperity in the future. If Europe and US want to be part of the solution they should begin by changing their lifestyle and reduce consumption and the amount of electricity they waste.. (for example the lights that stay on in office complexes)because the Indians and Chinese arent going to sacrifice their growth so Europe and US can maintain their lifestyle. Are the good citizens of US and Europe willing to lower their lifestyles? No i guess not and they expect developing countries to do so by having binding targets sheesh!

Goebbels if he were alive would have been proud of the way the western media propagates the myth of India as the 'intransigent polluter' perhaps because they dont like to be reminded of West's culpability and responsibility in creating the problem in the first place.

12:27 September 26, 2009 by rio
Seems that US has the biggest emittion and has no commitment to reduce it to a certain level, perhaps EU should points to it at first
12:45 September 26, 2009 by karex
@jay02 and @rio

agree on both accounts.

Perhaps it's time to change the strategy? It doesn't seem to be working. Instead of hoping that each individual nation is willing to step up to their individual responsibilities, perhaps a worldwide goal should be set as a challenge. Expecting each one to assume their part has been stimulating the practice of trowing blame around. It gets nowhere.

Each one then has to work to meet the goal set by the challenge. Those that have difficulties could perhaps receive help from others. The ones who don't take it seriously may find they have increasing difficulty to sell their products overseas. Popular awareness has grown much in the past decades. The consumers have some say on this too.
12:55 September 26, 2009 by Stüpid
The number of Automobiles which run on Petroleum products:

Italy has 1,5 % of cars for each single individual. Means each Italian has 1 and a half car. Population is roughly 60 million. They have around 90 million cars.

The cars in Italy are more than cars in India. Chinese have around trible to Indians.

But if you take overall europe they have roughly 5 times more cars than total of Indians and chinese have. Indians and chinese use public transport. Europeans use cars everywhere.

So, now what means green house effect protection? Just mufflering the chimneys of every factory?

What exactly does EU say?
13:30 September 26, 2009 by workforthesoup
Stop double standards Reinfledt, EU and all who drive 1 or several cars in developed economies!

Per capital pollution contribution by a Swede is several times higher than in India or China. If you want others to follow rules that yourselves didnt follow for several decades and spoiled the planet, set an example! Restrict more than 2 cars for a family in outskirts, Ban more than 1 car per family in cities that have good collective transport infrastructure such as STO. Restrict 4X4 for non commercial usage.

Do your homework Reinfledt, Its not enough if you run ethanol everywhere, you are still polluting much higher per capital.

Each person is a person however mean you consider them whereever they come from. Now go home and try to come up with something innovative to tackle this at home before going out and preaching!
13:32 September 26, 2009 by BillyB
Well now that Sweden has told them im sure China and India will be rushing to put it right....
13:34 September 26, 2009 by Joshe
The TATA motors in india has introduced the cheapest car with poor sfatey and environmental standards. They were asked if the price will the same (USD 2500) if they introduced this car in Europe, and they said its not possible because we'll have to maintain higher safety and environmental standards and this'll cause increase in its price. Given this fact, this car will be widely used in India because everyone'll like to have a car in country which is super power in population increase, this'll be a big disaster for those efforts which are to protect the environment. This'll not only affect environment but also more demand for fuel. The fact that Europeans have more cars than India is not worrying me because EU governments are pushing ppl to buy more environmental friendly cars, which is completely opposite in India, ppl just want to buy a car.

In addition to gas emissions by India and China, these countries should also be asked to make national level strategy for clean water, especially in India. 60 years ago, India was one of Asia's great waterways, flowing from the Himalayas, through Delhi, and on to the Ganges. Today it is one of the world's most polluted rivers and the most visible indication of the environmental price that the country is paying for its breakneck economic development.

The rivers in in India are amongst one the most polluted and full of filth (human and animal wastes, animal carcass, etc). The Ganga river is the holly river for indians, but this river is also full of so much filth that when ppl for bath in it (to clean their sins, according to their believes), they have to take another shower at home :) .
14:20 September 26, 2009 by browneyes10

See this funny things that now indian will give suggestions to Sweden and to Europe. Lolllzzzzz

@Joshe, well said. lolzzzzzzzzzz
18:10 September 26, 2009 by human on planet
Fredrik Reinfeldt do you know what are you talking?

if you agree that all the people on the earth are equal value, your statement is wrong.

per capita energy consumption in india and china is much smaller than developed countries.

but in reality all people are not having equal value.

the life of dog in sweden has more value than humans in other parts of the earth.
18:49 September 26, 2009 by karex
Most of you all are missing the point. We are ALL to blame, just how much each one is at fault here has long passed relevance. We have been wasting valuable time for decades slinging the mud around. We are already passed the point of no return. It is not a matter of if people will be dying anymore, it's a matter of how many. Natural disasters, skin cancer, athsma (to name just a mere few) are all increasing and are all killing already.

Does Sweden have work to do to improve things? CERTAINLY, as does everyone else. So let's get down to DOING and stop blowing a lot of hot air (pun intended).

Sorry to be so blunt.
19:29 September 26, 2009 by workforthesoup

Your comment is precisely a great example of what i was talking about. Cant a person from a developing country provide suggestions to people who preach against them for the mess they have created over decades and still creating per capita ?

Each human being on earth has the same freedom of speech and is a person.


Agree with you on the latter part, we have to work together to clean up the mess, but need to do the following in that order

1. Acknowledge that Developed economies are responsible in a huge proportion for the mess that is created today. (US is in the forefront of that contribution).

2. Developed economies have to do implement ideas and actions to reduce per capita pollution share. (Couple of suggestions in previous comment) since it is several times high compared to developing economies.

3. Developing economies must cooperate in reducing gross pollution levels.

People preaching about it should mention/describe or "tala om" what they have done or promising to do under point (2), before they want to see (3) being done.

Again, each person is a person, no matter how small/ how little money/ where they come from.
20:15 September 26, 2009 by voidplay

I don't agree with you on the TATA nano being an environmental problem.

It has a better fuel economy than many two wheelers, and it is expected to use the capacity. It is also a good alternative to existing public transport system where the cabs or auto are generally inefficient.

It is to come in versions of electric (in coorporation with a norweigian company) and compressed air (MDI of France) which is expected to be sold at about the same price.

It is primarily a city car but European & US rules make Airbags, Abs etc mandatory, They don't make sense for most European households. May be in US where the roads are full of hummers and the only way to be safe is to be on an M1 Abrams ;-)

The Indian version adhers to Euro IV standards and the idea is if a car is cheap then less energy and material goes into its manufacture. Most electrics fail because of cost and as I see it Nano is a wonderful platform for cheap and efficient transport.
20:35 September 26, 2009 by karex

YES! Finally, a practical comment! Don't know if I agree with you on what should be the first step though, but taking the time to think about things instead of just complaining is the whole point.

Having been involved in many projects over the years, I have come to learn that no matter how many resources you can muster and how hard everyone works, if the team doesn't have a set goal to work towards in unison the project is mostly doomed to fail. It's like the Tower of Babel... Which BTW is what Reinfeldt is trying to do. It would be nice if we could support him so he can do the part of the job we can't.

Then it's OUR job to put pressure on him to do what he can do in-house to bring down the prices on alternative technologies, as "voidplay" has pointed out.. They exist, but for the most part are still out of reach for the average citizen, cost-wise. As with everything else, the more it is used, the more the pricetag decreases. There must be some trigger to speed this up (subsidies? just one thought). There are many other things he can influence as well. It's up to us to put pressure on the government to make sure things start to happen.

I have already ditched our oil furnace for a "berg värme" (don't know what that is in English). We are self-sifficient for our water as well. Next step is electricity. Perfect location for a windmill BUT what is currently available costs millions - the HUGE contraptions. Incentive must be given to develop medium and small sized mills. But I'm not giving up. I'll find a way eventually.
21:28 September 26, 2009 by human on planet
bring down worlk population to a sustainable levels.

one child per couple that chineese have found 30 years back.

after 50 years world population become half. continue tradition if still there is global warming or food shortages, or water shortages or illigal migration.

solution to global warming is simple.

but politians,businessmen, religious leaders dont like the idea of having one child per couple. does anybody know the answer?
22:34 September 26, 2009 by karex
@human on planet

Unfortunately it's not that simple my friend. As the modern Chinese themselves have found, radical laws don't work. That's probably why so many people are against it. They end up hurting a lot more people than they help. Has this law reduced China's pollution levels?

Overpopulation is a problem. But one of the biggest problems is bad distribution. Some places have too many people, others not enough. Most countries need young people working to support the elderly who no longer work. The planet functions perfectly as long as it can depend on a delicate balance. The problem is we are throwing the balance off.

I think the ANCIENT Chinese were better equipped to face such chalenges: balance and harmony in everything was how they strove to live their lives. That's how nature works. They reached this startingly simple realization by simply observing nature.

Sadly, most of us feel that we're too busy to spare a few moments each day to contemplate nature and learn from it.
23:02 September 26, 2009 by CarlBlack
@human on planet

Nice idea, but it is actually sufficient to implement this rule only in countries where its own people don't have enough responsibility to control the number of their children, or simply don't want to use contraception. For example Europe definitely don't have this problem. So try to go to Africa and spread this idea :-)

@karex: In China this worked, population has been substantially reduced, but there are of course side effects. If they had implemented limitation to two children instead of one, but much sooner, I think that things would go pretty well.

@voidplay: Even in city you have speedways for about 100km/h, where airbags can be pretty useful. ABS is not mandatory, but anyway it is very helpful even at 50km/h when it's freezing.

However as European I generally agree with pro-Indian arguments here. Reinfeldt is just making strong statements, probably only to increase his popularity in Sweden. Indians and Chinese will anyway not accept this unless they get something in return.
00:20 September 27, 2009 by human on planet
@ karex

"Some places have too many people, others not enough."

it is true but it is not good to millions of people from one continent to other continent.

"Has this law reduced China's pollution levels?"

YES ,otherwise china population by this time cross 1500 million"

india has not implemented any strict law thats why india is going to beat china in 2015 in population.

"Most countries need young people working to support the elderly who no longer work"

your logic reminds me AMERISCAN PYRAMID SCAM. as long as new members joins to support old member,the pyramid goes smoothly. but sometime in the future pyramid will collapse automatically.
11:28 September 27, 2009 by karex
@human on planet

"it is not good to millions of people from one continent to other continent.

" Yes

this is true too. I didn't say that redistribution of populations is the solution, merely stated that uneven distribution is one of the problems. Redistribution would end up causing a host of other problems and would solve little.

"india has not implemented any strict law "

I seem to remember a forced mass sterlization program in India in the not too distant past.

"your logic reminds me AMERISCAN PYRAMID SCAM"

The current model of many countries works based on young people working providing the revenue to support the elderly. It may not be the most brilliant model, but it has been working more or less OK. Of course a better model would be preferable, but until we come up with one... In South Korea there is no retirement model set up. Parents merely move in with their eldest son who then has to support them in addition to his own family.

I think that education will go a much longer way than strict laws. At least it would address the cause and not try to minimize the effects.
11:46 September 27, 2009 by Joshe
Viodpay & workforthesoup ......... again a atypical Indian mentality, You both are trying to convince the Europe that India is doing right and no one should teach you any lessons. But on other hand, its India, bangladesh and Maldives which will suffer from climate change to greater extent, not Europe.

25 years ago, India was warned for its poor state policies on control of HIV/AIDS by WHO, and today the country is in severe crisis to control this disease and already millions of ppl have got infected. ...TIME IS RUNNING OUT, LEARN FROM OTHERS!
21:37 September 27, 2009 by voidplay

I agree with you but I only feel that for a city car the requirements could be a little overblown and too stringent. And if it is a bunch of 17 yr olds a little bit drunk and on the highway all the airbags can do little to help ;-). An air bag can actually be lethal and add to the injuries if it is deployed a bit too late and my guess is we would know only once and it is always very subjective to depend too much on it.


I was just arguing against your argument, that fuel efficient and cheap cars are no more an environmental disaster than fuel guzzeling and expensive cars.

No country is poor each has its own resources and people but the clear difference between developed and underdeveloped countries is how the resources are utilised economically and beneficialy. The idea is that cooporations that do this job best are to be rewarded.

You just need to answer one question why is the 'Smart' a two seater aimed at the high end market and which probably will not carry more than the driver himself is a symbol of being 'environmentally friendly'.

While 'nano' a four seater which is targeted at the lower end and is expected to to carry maximum load duing most of its lifetime is an 'environmental disaster'.

The cost of gas(petrol) in India is as expensive as than that of heavily taxed swedish gas. And considering the living cost shoots through the roof for most expected users.

Following this argument it is good to reward companies which make efficient cars.

And if you think population is our real problem hold yourself - it is our economy it is like a growing baby which would die when it stops growing or an addiction which can only grow bigger and bigger.

Population will automatically go down when standards of living go up. And part of it is to bring out people living in the 'other economy' and that is about making it possible for them to afford and aspire to 'join' our economy. But considering the 'profit driven' forces that drive our economy and that includes all makers the fuel guzellers I wonder if it would be worse.

And talking of the good points about nano it has driven more of the biggies including the big 3's of the US to look at small & cheap cars.

And guess what it already has a competitor 'oreva' which is an electric car selling at the same low price and 'Reva' getting more prominance, range and a better price.
11:51 September 28, 2009 by warriorwithin
a country that runs more than 50% on nuclear power, has high end cars that are no good in fuel effiency telling others to work towards a better climate....pheww hypocrites
15:04 September 28, 2009 by CarlBlack
warriorwithin: Do you now about any more ecological energy source than nuclear power, that is capable of providing power to whole average country? And as far as I know India is going to multiply its number of reactors...
20:16 September 28, 2009 by futureishere
If this world as a whole wants to succeed in bringing down the emissions to an acceptable level, then India and China HAVE to take some extreme steps, even if it means letting their economic growth take a hit. But having said that, the rich countries like Sweden (and US of course) need to take even more extreme steps at the expense of their economic growth. These countries need to increase the research budget for making renewable resources a practical alternative by atleast ten fold. But more importantly, they need to acknowledge that with current technology, they cannot continue their rich lifestyles. They will need to get their population out of their comfort zone. They need to force the public to restrict the usage of electricity, oil and water either by rationing or by any other means. At the same time, they should make the cleaner technology available to poor countries at cheap prices.

But I have serious doubts that the politicians like Fredrick will do that since these harsh decisions will hit their vote banks hard. Same thing applies for the politicians for poor countries. And the resulting stalemate will push the humanity towards doom. Our only hope is that some brilliant mind will come up with an idea that will be loved by environmentalists and capitalists alike!
15:14 September 29, 2009 by Marc the Texan
China burns twice the amount of coal that the US does. That's a fact. Look it up. China has been the biggest emitter for years, they've just been flying under the radar.
12:02 October 2, 2009 by warriorwithin
Its easy to shift the blame on developing countries....lets see if he can push the US to use public transport instead of gas guzzling SUVs and Hi end cars..
19:23 October 3, 2009 by Umakant
It is all pep-talk.

India or China will not listen to Sweden and same vice-versa.

Since you have money and enjoyed the climate and spoiled it, develop cars that run with water!!

Once a year go to UN and talk whatever you want.

Developed world has fear of suffering which is nothing new in developing world. No takers there for these lectures.

So Indians and Chinese shall not have cars, air conditioning, refrigeration...and have to remain as cheap labour to serve the developed world?

You need Africa to dump your computer waste and hazardous chemicals. You need Asia for soft slavery. What else?

No way. US/EU - when are you inventing cars / conditioners running on water?
13:35 October 5, 2009 by saintgeorge
This is "Holier than Thou" attitude. Western countries are emmitng poison in the air for years. West should lead by example and not tell other countries to halt their economic growth. It amounts to racism. West and America, get your act togather, instead of lecturing India and China.

People living glass house should not throw stones at other houses.
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