2022-06-02 17:43News

2 June 2022

Mundus Nordic Green News

Greta Thunberg declines invite to Stockholm+50 

Greta Thunberg has spurned the rostrum during the UN Environment Conference Stockholm+50. Instead, she puts all her energy into Friday's major climate strike. “I received an invitation but declined”, says the climate activist. The UN's first environmental conference was organised in Stockholm in 1972, and to mark the 50th anniversary, Sweden, together with Kenya, is the organiser again. Between 2-3 June, environment ministers, heads of state, business leaders and other representatives of 110 member countries gather at the Stockholm Fair in Älvsjö to celebrate and, as stated on the Government's website, increase the pace of the transition to a more sustainable future. The guest list includes UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and US Climate Envoy John Kerry, but they will not be joined by Greta Thunberg. She was invited as a speaker but declined. Prior to the conference, the Minister for Climate and the Environment, Annika Strandhäll (S), called Sweden a pioneering country and expressed that she is proud of the role Sweden has played in international environmental and climate work. However, that pride is not shared by the activists of ‘Fridays for Future’. “When we talk about the climate crisis, you must somehow specify which climate crisis we are talking about. If we talk about the climate crisis that includes all our emissions, Sweden is not leading at all. If, on the other hand, we are talking about the climate crisis that only contains the emissions we have not managed to outsource or negotiate in loopholes in international climate frameworks, perhaps Sweden is leading” Thunberg concludes.

Thunberg was not the only one critical of poor preparation and unclear objectives of the meeting. “You do not attract so many people here at such large costs and such high emissions if you do not have a clear purpose”, says environmental campaigner Anders Wijkman. “We have talked for 50 years and done very little. You could have sent out emissaries around the world and prioritised three, four issues where you want to achieve something. We can also compare with the Glasgow conference last autumn, where the British, in addition to the convention work itself, negotiated agreements on forest protection and methane emissions”, he said.

Aftonbladet, DN

Swedish-Indian UN initiative continue to drive the heavy industry’s green transition

On 1 June, nearly a hundred participants from various countries, industries and international organisations met in Stockholm for a meeting within the LeadIT initiative (Leadership Group for Industrial Change) to discuss the green transition of the heavy industry. The initiative was launched by the former Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, during the UN Climate Summit in New York in 2019. This year, the group welcomed two new members, Japan and South Africa.

“Sweden must shoulder the international climate leadership and show the whole world how the green transition creates jobs and growth. Here and now, we are able to witness the start of a green industrial revolution in Sweden. Today I have been involved in unveiling the world’s first vehicle manufactured in Sweden by Volvo, using fossi-free steel from SSAB. Through LeadIT, we collaborate, push for, and support other countries so that the world can accelerate the transition of the heavy industry,” said the Minister for Climate and the Environment, Annika Strandhäll (S). 

Press release

New global fund launched to raise investment in nature 

A new international fund backed by wealthy nations aims to invest at least $500 mln in protecting nature in developing countries and giving indigenous people a bigger role in conserving their environment and tackling climate change. The Climate Investment Funds, one of the world’s largest multilateral climate financing instruments, launched its “Nature, People, and Climate” (NPC) programme on Wednesday at Stockholm+50. The programme expects to invest in efforts to expand approaches like carbon storage, mangrove restoration, and climate resilience in small island developing states, sub-Saharan Africa, and forested countries around the globe. Backed so far by Italy and Sweden, and with a target of raising $500 million by November, the NPC will provide finance and expertise to initiatives that conserve wildlife, plants, and forests, promote sustainable agriculture and food supplies, and enable people to cope with rising seas and extreme weather. “Nature-based solutions help reduce emissions, support communities adapting to a changing climate and protect biodiversity,” Matilda Ernkrans, Sweden’s international development minister, said in a statement. (Arab News)

Stockholm investing SEK 1 billion in more bike lanes 

The City of Stockholm is investing one billion SEK to make more people in the capital bike to work or for leisure. The investment is in better cycling infrastructure 2019-2022 and the Stockholm strategic plan is to make it both simpler and safer to travel around town on a bicycle. Joakim Boberg, bicycle strategist at City Hall’s traffic department says that some 60 different projects are in the works, about half of which have been completed so far. Per Hasselberg of the volunteer organisation Bicycle Promotion (Sw. Cykelfrämjandet) agrees that these measures are positive and that some of them even are smart, but that they are unsatisfactory. He says that SEK 1 billion may sound like a lot, but that it is not enough, primarily because more and more Stockholmers use their bikes. His organisation wants to rid central Stockholm from cars and generally ensure that bicyclists are safely separated from cars.

Dagens Nyheter

Sweden’s opposition promise a historic investment in new nuclear power

Sweden’s Moderate Party, the main opposition, with a good chance of holding government after the next election in September, announced that it wants to invest as much as SEK 400 billion in government credit guarantees to build new nuclear power in Sweden. The money should be sufficient for up to ten new reactors, according to the party. “It is a historically large investment,” says M-leader Ulf Kristersson. “We believe this is a task that is important for the state. We need nuclear power, says the Moderates' economic policy spokesperson Elisabeth Svantesson. In the event of a change of power this autumn, Sweden will for the first time since the 1970s be governed by parties that all want to build new nuclear power. Alongside the Moderates, the Christian Democrats, the Sweden Democrats and the Liberals have also taken a stand for new reactors.

 Press release

Nel ASA receives purchase order from Glencore Nikkelverk

Nel Hydrogen Electrolyser AS, a subsidiary of Nel ASA, announced that the company has been awarded a contract for an alkaline electrolyser system by Glencore Nikkelverk in Norway. The green hydrogen from the electrolyser system will be used for production of hydrochloric acid. The equipment is expected to be delivered in mid-2030, for a value exceeding EUR 3 million. 

Press release

What we’re reading
  • EU smashes GHG emissions 34% below 1990 levels by 2020, overshooting the bloc’s target of 20% (Euractiv)
  • Paris rolls out ban on big-polluting diesel vehicles (RFI)

About Nordic Green News

The Nordic countries are some of the most dynamic and successful economies in the world. They are also leaders in sustainability, from renewable energy, biofuels, carbon capture and storage and the hydrogen economy, circular economy business models and battery development, the Nordics are pioneers in policy design, technology development and consumer uptake. Mundus Nordic Green News is covering this transition for the international community. Every day we curate the stories of most relevance to international businesspeople and policy experts from the flow of news. Mundus Nordic Green Indices summarise the meta-data from our daily coverage to enable easy tracking of trends. We supplement these with our own opinion pieces and commentary.