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Writing the story of a green future – POLITICO

Ann Linde is the Swedish Foreign Minister. Matilda Ernkrans is Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation.

It’s time to take leadership responsibility for a shared green future. But taking responsibility doesn’t just mean doing more, it means doing better.

Following two UN General Assembly resolutions and after months of work, the world came to the Swedish capital last week for Stockholm +50 to discuss accelerating efforts to create a healthy planet. for the prosperity of all.

Hosted by Sweden and Kenya, the UN meeting was more than just a commemoration of the historic 1972 Stockholm conference – the first global gathering to make the environment a central issue. New complexities in the areas of environment and energy, security and development, climate and equity mean that isolated responses are simply not enough. And now is the time for stronger global action that demonstrates the power of multilateralism.

Featuring hundreds of UN officials, heads of state, ministers and other government officials, Stockholm+50 was a gathering that involved civil society – including activists, businesses and scientists – d in a way that has set new standards for multilateral meetings. And ahead of the Stockholm meeting, more than 50,000 people from around the world – men and women, young and old, from all walks of life – provided their ideas and recommendations.

From this clamor of voices, a message came out loud and clear: the need to accelerate green and fair transitions. If 1972 was the starting point for global efforts to tackle environmental challenges, Stockholm+50 was about to kick things into high gear.

The urgency is not surprising. These are difficult times.

A triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution is already impacting people around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over; inequality and hunger are increasing instead of decreasing; and through its invasion of Ukraine, Russia is challenging the rules-based global order, causing a humanitarian crisis far beyond Ukraine’s borders, deepening the global hunger crisis.

All of this demonstrates the interconnectedness of our challenges. Human well-being and human security depend on a healthy biosphere, requiring the broad commitment of responsible governments and a vibrant civil society, as well as a functioning international system characterized by adherence to agreed principles, multilateralism and cooperation.

So how do we bring this to life?

Above all, we must work together. If our goal is human security for all, we will need integrated analysis and action, and with the Stockholm Center for Environment, Climate and Security, Sweden offers a resource for the global community. to navigate a complex landscape and make smarter decisions for a safer environment. and a more sustainable future. Sweden’s new Ambassador for Climate and Security will also play a key role as our government moves this agenda forward. We hope others will follow.

Time is also of the essence. We have only eight years to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, let alone time to change course on climate and the environment. There is no time to waste and we must all do more and better.

International development assistance can play a catalytic role here, increasing public and private financial flows in building resilient societies that are net zero, nature friendly and zero pollution. Climate adaptation is a global priority, and stepping up support for least developed countries to adapt to global warming is a matter of justice and solidarity.

The good news, however, is that the acceleration has already begun and the transition is full of opportunity for people and our planet.

Visualizing our destination means imagining a safer, healthier and more stable world than the one we live in today – but the transitions underway are already improving lives, while delivering ecological and climate benefits.

In Sweden, for example, a green industrial revolution is emerging with flagships like the HYBRIT partnership for fossil-free steel bringing new jobs and development to its neighbourhood. Sweden is also one of the few countries to allocate 1% of its gross national income to international development aid – with the intention of doubling its climate aid in the coming years as well.

But as Stockholm+50 has demonstrated, it’s not just Sweden – there are plenty of such examples around the world. And these positive stories must fuel the engine of transformation.

Today, World Environment Day — one of the legacies of 1972 — the outcome of last week’s conference gives momentum to our efforts for the months and years to come.

Together we can change the story of the future.


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