We find ourselves in an extreme climate crisis, Swedish Climate and Environment Minister Annika Strandhäll said on Sunday ahead of June’s UN climate meeting due to take place in Stockholm.
Sweden and Kenya will organise a high-level meeting entitled “Stockholm+50: a healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility” on 2-3 June in Stockholm. A series of other events will be held during the week, including meetings on implementing the Paris Climate Agreement and the transformation of heavy industry.
Stockholm+50 will mark 50 years since the first UN conference on the environment, the 1972 Stockholm Conference that resulted in the so-called Stockholm Declaration, which contains several principles on environment and development, but also in the creation of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the establishment of World Environment Day.
“Politicians must step forward and show leadership,” Swedish Climate Minister Annika Strandhäll told the TT press agency on Sunday (29 May), adding that our future is “a shared one” that we must “create it together.”
“Stockholm+50 is about how we ensure that we get the results we need for the commitments that have already been made. Meetings, where new commitments are constantly being made, will not matter if we do not deliver on what has already been agreed,” she declared.
According to the Stockholm Environment Institute, no country is living up to its commitments under the Paris Agreement. Since 1972, only a tenth of the hundreds of global environmental and development goals agreed upon worldwide have been achieved or made significant progress.
“This is the strong criticism that world political leaders must take to heart. Sweden will of course do its part, but more countries need to do more, faster,” Strandhäll said.
“We are in an acute climate crisis. The asphalt is melting in India, birds are falling and dying because of the heat, and we have torrential rain and floods in Sweden,” Strandhäll said, adding that she hopes that world leaders will “show responsibility” and “manage to keep the focus on what (they) are there for.”