In addition, one out of ten municipal politicians and local government managers totally deny that the phenomenon of global warming even exists, according to a survey carried out by the Swedish Defence Research Agency (Försvarets forskningsinstitutet – FOI).
“This is clearly not good. These people feel like they don’t have to take responsibility for environmental work in their municipalities,” FOI’s head of climate and energy research, Annika Carlsson-Kanyama, told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.
The findings come from a survey carried out by FOI looking into how local decision-makers in Sweden view the issue of climate change.
According to Carlsson-Kanyama, global warming represents a threat to Sweden’s national security and must be treated seriously.
“Observations clearly indicate that the climate is changing and the leading climate researchers are in complete agreement that the change is primarily caused by people,” FOI wrote in its report.
However, the survey results about local politicians’ and decision-makers’ doubts concerning the science behind climate change took the agency by surprise.
In essence, the survey indicates that 70 percent of Sweden’s local politicians don’t believe in the science.
“It makes me angry that there are groups that spread the idea that research on the climate can’t be trusted,” Carlsson-Kanyama told DN.
“It’s really hard to believe that managers and politicians don’t see how they are responsible for Sweden.”
According to the study, climate change-doubters are often men from small, conservative-leaning municipalities, while it is often women from larger municipalities who are champions of the need to act to combat climate change.
The results are based on 2,389 responses from politicians and managers in 63 municipalities around Sweden.