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ENVIRONMENT

Gothenburg kicks off green bond sale

Gothenburg in western Sweden became the first city in Scandinavia to issue green bonds to fund public investment when it sold off 500 million kronor worth of debt on Friday.

Gothenburg kicks off green bond sale

“In 30 minutes we got bids for €1.25 billion, says Magnus Borelius, finance director for the City of Gothenburg, told the local Göteborgs Posten (GP) daily.

The money that the municipality pulls in through the the bonds is earmarked for environmental projects. The funds generated on Friday will be used for a water treatment plant.

City of Gothenburg is the first public body in the Nordic region to issue green bonds in accordance with the World Bank’s rules. The World Bank is behind the project to issue green bond and is responsible for the definition.

IN PICTURES: See stunning pictures of Gothenburg after sunset

Magnus Borelius underlined that the move is not a means to simply increase the debt carried by the city.

“This is not a question of increasing debt levels in the city, it is about swapping money for green money.”

The green bonds have been described by the municipal council chairwoman Anneli Hultén as an important step in the city’s environmental work.

“In practice it means that the city can make use of its strong standing in the finance markets to move towards a more environmentally-friendly world,” she said to GP.

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ENVIRONMENT

Sweden Democrat slammed for denying climate crisis in parliament

The new Sweden Democrat MP Elsa Widding has been attacked as "shameful" and "deplorable", for denying the climate crisis in her maiden speech in the country's parliament.

Sweden Democrat slammed for denying climate crisis in parliament

In her speech, Widding, a civil engineer educated at Chalmers University of Technology, said that a warming planet would have advantages as well as disadvantages, and that there was no clear scientific backing for the climate crisis. 

“I believe that there is a lack of scientific evidence for saying that we find ourselves in a climate crisis,” she said. “The last time that was the case was in the 1960s when summers either stopped or became so short that we couldn’t produce a harvest.” 

She claimed that every piece of action Sweden is taking to combat climate change is simply “gesture politics”, and that even if Sweden cut its greenhouse gas emissions to zero, it would only shave 0.0027˚C from global temperatures. She called for an end to the “religion” of climate policy and campaigning. 

Markus Selin, an MP for the Social Democrats called Widding’s statement “deplorable” and said he was “ashamed” to hear it. 

“Just 24 hours ago we stood and listened to Ulf Kristersson here in the parliament’s chamber talk far and wide about climate efforts and the Paris Agreement, and now we are hear 24 hours later listening to the biggest party backing his government chirping up and saying we should drop all the work to get our planet out of the dirt.” 

Annie Lööf, leader of the Centre Party, called Widding’s statement “embarrassing”. 

“That the Sweden Democrats are climate change deniers is nothing new,” she said, saying that it was the Moderates, Christian Democrats, and Liberals who were really to blame for giving the party real political power. 

“Moderates, Christian Democrats and Liberals – how could you let the party of climate deniers get all the way into the government offices?”

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