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It is not by conservatives that the brave decisions are made

The climate crisis, do you remember it? The news we got in the last year has been focused on the pandemic and lately on Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. Even more urgent now that the birds are literally falling dead from the sky in India.

The eyes have turned towards Sweden, when world leaders, environment ministers and other dignitaries meet for the UN climate and environmental meeting ” Stockholm +50″. 

Stockholm, because it was here that Olof Palme initiated the UN’s first climate summit in 1972.

What has happened since then? The short answer is that most things have gone from bad to worse on the climate front and we are the direct reasons for this. 

Emissions have increased avalanche-like over the past fifty years, and the Western world is by far the biggest culprit in the drama. Sweden and Stockholm have played an important role internationally in global environmental work for over a hundred years, but in Sweden, the action has been characterized by pragmatism rather than progressiveness. 

A Sami village there, mining need here – almost always the Swedish industry and energy sector have emerged victorious from this type of public battle. Of 87 environmental goals Sweden has set in the last 50 years, Sweden has only managed one-third of the goals, as shown in a review by Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN). Within EU work, Sweden’s time as a green role model in the EU is over.

There is something treacherous about the Swedish self-image when it comes to the environment. Swedes believe that if they: Sort, cycle a lot, drive predominantly electric cars and are generally informed about the climate issue.

And so it may be. But what good is it if we have more than half of our emissions in other countries?

The recent aviation debate in Sweden began with the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet’s opinion article ”Everyone has the right to fly charters in the summer” and was accompanied by pictures of kilometre-long queues for check-in at Arlanda. 

This week, Dagens ETC published a review of the Swedish private jets; the financiers, the influencers and the stars (of course!) who fly for their own engine. Sixty percent have increased emissions from private flying in the last three years in Sweden. Sad, but society can not restrict the individual’s right to steer his own aircraft, you might think. Because that is how people in Sweden look at the conflict between individual choices and the end of the world as we know it.

This is happening simultaneously in the world: Germany is reducing prices in public transport by 90 percent (in Sweden, they have increased several times more than fuel prices in recent decades).

In France, all domestic flights on routes that can be reached by train in two hours have been banned. Locally in Lyon, there is now a ban on heating outdoor cafes with infrared heating, and in Paris, three out of four parking spaces will be removed in the next few years.

In Brussels, it has been forbidden to drive old petrol and diesel cars since 2020, this year the ban on models from before 2011 will be tightened and in 2025 it will be tightened further.

In Bolivia and Ecuador, nature is recognized as a legal object with its own rights in the constitution.

But aren’t Sweden’s emission levels internationally low, do you think? yes, that is because the Swedes lifestyle is that more than half of the emissions are located in other countries, it can look like the Swedes emission is lower when reported from a domestic usage point.

Regardless of that, ” Stockholm +50″ it is no longer possible to say that this is where brave, radical and vital decisions are made. 

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