Swedish FM on climate goals: 'If we don't make it, then we don't make it'

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Swedish FM on climate goals: 'If we don't make it, then we don't make it'
Finance minister Elisabeth Svantesson is flanked by climate protestors as she goes to deliver her budget. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Sweden's finance minister Elisabeth Svantesson has shrugged off concerns that her government's policies will mean that Sweden misses its 2030 emissions reductions goals, telling an interviewer, "if we don't make it, then we don't make it."


In an interview with the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper, Svantesson conceded that her government had had to sacrifice Sweden's chances of meeting its 2030 emissions reduction goals in order to help citizens deal with the consequences of war in Ukraine and keep inflation under control. 

"We have an extremely big responsibility to together make sure that emissions fall," she told the newspaper. "But we also have a responsibility to make sure that people are able to get by in a difficult time when we have war on our doorstep and high inflation. These are conflicting goals."


Asked what it would mean for Sweden if it misses its emissions goals, Svantesson was nonchalant. 

"It would mean that we don't meet the goal. If we don't do it, then we don't do it, but the ambition is to aim towards the goal." 

Asked what consequences missing the goal would have, she offered little reflection. 

"The consequence is that we don't meet the goal, and that of course is not good. But the climate goals are also about 2045, about the efforts we make in Sweden, and about helping other countries reach their goals." 

The Green Party's joint leader Per Bolund was scathing about the implication that for Svantesson the goals were in some way optional. 

"Unlike the environment minister, the finance minister is at least honest," he said. "So they are just ignoring a huge number of parliamentary decisions: the environment goal, the climate law, the transport emissions goals, for both 2030 and 2045. Do they see other laws in the same way, that they are just optional?" 

"This means that they are consciously breaking the Paris Agreement and other EU rules (which come with stiff EU fines), and of course, our common future is being flushed down the drain." 


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