The climate issue is a top priority of the Swedish Government's environmental work. If emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are not curbed there will be serious repercussions. Work is being stepped up in both the UN and the EU to reduce emissions and achieve the climate goals that have been set.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the world. The task at hand - reversing the trend of increasing global greenhouse gas emissions within just a decade - will require concerted measures from all the countries of the world.
EU - climate and energy objectives
The EU has an important and active role to play in the international negotiations on a broad climate agreement, supported not least by its ambitiously high objectives. In March 2007, EU heads of state and government concluded the most ambitious set of climate and energy objectives ever adopted by a group of countries. The EU's climate policy objectives are based on the IPCC's assessment of the risk of harmful climate change - temperatures must not be allowed to rise by more than two degrees above pre-industrial levels. The EU's own emissions targets by 2020 are:
- To reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent within the framework of a global climate agreement,or by 20 per cent in the absence of an international agreement.
- To increase the proportion of renewable energy to 20 per cent.
- To increase the proportion of renewable fuels to 10 per cent.
- To increase the efficiency of energy use by 20 per cent.
UN - Climate Convention and the Kyoto Protocol
The UN Convention on Climate Change is the framework for the international negotiations on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Convention aims to prevent "dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system". The Kyoto Protocol, part of the Convention, is legally binding for all signatory countries. In the Protocol the world's industrialized countries undertake jointly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by just over five per cent between 2008 and 2012, compared with emissions levels in 1990. The USA has chosen not to sign the Kyoto Protocol.
The Kyoto Protocol does not reduce emissions far enough, but it can be seen as a first important step towards the necessary substantial reduction. The EU, like many industrialized countries, is implementing extensive measures in order to meet its Kyoto commitments. In the international climate negotiations, the EU is pressing for legally binding emissions targets for industrialized countries. The new, post-Kyoto agreement should aim to reduce industrialized countries' emissions by 60 to 80 per cent by 2050 and by 25 to 40 per cent by 2020 (compared to levels in 1990).
Sweden - increased renewable energy, climate adaptation and climate assistance
The EU is a platform for Swedish climate policy, and Sweden will make its contribution to achieving the Union's ambitious climate targets. Sweden, like the other Member States, will reduce emissions, increase the efficiency of energy use and increase the proportion of renewable energy. Both the targets and measures are based on scientific findings on the climate change problem. In order to meet the EU targets and maintain a leading role in climate and energy conversion, the Government is implementing a package of measures in the area of climate and energy.