Greta Thunberg deplores lack of climate debate in Swedish vote

Sweden's most famous climate activist, Greta Thunberg, on Friday deplored the lack of debate on the climate as the nation prepares to go to the polls on Sunday.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg marches during a protest
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (C) marches during a 'Fridays for Future' movement protest in Stockholm, Sweden on September 9, 2022, ahead of the country's general elections on September 11, 2022. Photo: Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP

Climate concerns have taken a backseat in the election campaign. Voters are more focused on rising gang violence and soaring energy prices.

“The climate crisis has been more or less ignored in this election campaign. At best it’s been reduced to an issue about energy. So we have a lot to do,” she told AFP.

Sporting a striped T-shirt, the young activist took part in a protest with several hundred others in central Stockholm on Friday.

Sweden’s legislative elections on Sunday, where 349 seats in parliament are up for grabs, are expected to be a nail-biter, with the left- and right-wing blocs polling dead even.

READ ALSO: Your guide to The Local’s Swedish election coverage

“I am protesting because only voting is not enough,” Thunberg said, criticising politicians for not doing enough on the climate.

“Right now none of the political parties are delivering,” she added.

The 19-year-old activist, who is eligible to vote in her first election this year, has said she had not yet made up her mind which party to vote for.

But she stressed it was important for people to voice their concerns “to show politicians that the climate and the environmental emergency is something that we care about and we are not going to let them get away with another four years of nothing”.

In recent years, Sweden’s left-wing Green party has struggled to attract voters and stay above the four-percent threshold needed to be represented in parliament.

READ ALSO: LATEST POLLS: Who is in the lead with two days to go until Sweden’s election?

The latest polls credit the Greens with between 4.5 and 7.9 percent of voter support.

Thunberg, who began her “School strike for the climate” outside Sweden’s parliament two weeks ahead of the 2018 election when she was 15, has risen to become one of the world’s most famous champions of action on climate change.

Spearheading a global youth movement, Thunberg has spoken at the United Nations, been named a Time person of the year and been tipped as a favourite to win the Nobel Peace Prize.


Member comments

  1. more effective than repeating “how dare you…” would be to run for office and try to implement whatever she think is the solution. Hope she will, someday soon.

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Sweden’s mean temperature up 1.9C since late 1800s: report

Sweden's average temperature has risen nearly two degrees Celsius since the late 1800s and while precipitation has increased the snow cover lasts two weeks less, a new report on the Nordic country's climate change said Tuesday.

Sweden's mean temperature up 1.9C since late 1800s: report

According the report from the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) the average temperature in the country was 1.9 degrees Celsius (3.4 degrees Fahrenheit) higher in the period between 1991 to 2020 compared to the period between 1861 and 1890.

SMHI noted that the observed change was roughly double that of the change in global average temperatures for the same period.

The weather agency said that it had not previously conducted an analysis as extensive, where it looked at as many different indicators of climate change, before.

“The result of the analysis clearly show that Sweden’s climate has changed,” Semjon Schimanke, climatologist and project leader at SMHI, said in a statement.

“The warmer climate with more precipitation in Sweden closely follows the observed global warming that is a result of human climate influence,” Erik Kjellstrom, professor of climatology at SMHI, added.

Not all of the observation series covered the same timeframe, the weather agency said and noted that precipitation had increased since 1930, from about 600 millimetres to almost 700 millimetres from the year 2000 and forward.

However, the snow cover during winter around the country had decreased by 16 days on average for the period between 1991 and 2020 compared to the period between 1961 and 1990.

SMHI stressed that the observations were the averages over a year, and said the picture became more complex as when “investigating smaller regions or different seasons.”

“For instance, the increase of precipitation is mainly related to enhanced precipitation during autumn and winter whereas there are no obvious trends in spring and summer,” SMHI said, adding that “changes in extremes are generally harder to identify.”

The report comes as the UN climate summit COP27 wrapped up in Egypt over the weekend.

While the summit resulted in a landmark deal on funding to help vulnerable countries cope with climate impacts it also led to criticism and frustration over a failure to be more ambitious on cutting emissions