At the beginning of June, the UN meeting Stockholm + 50 took place, to mark 50 years since the first international climate conference was held in Sweden. But despite a lot of commotion before the conference, it was mostly talk and a little workshop. It is still young climate activists who are forced to lead the fight for climate justice.
Increasing the pace of global climate work was the purpose of the UN meeting in Stockholm, where politicians and activists flew in from all parts of the world. After two days of intense discussions and panel debates, one was released message documents with ten recommendations to the countries of the world.
There were some glimmers of light from the climate conference itself. For example, climate change, pollution and the threat to biodiversity were discussed as interconnected crises that must be resolved together. The fact that the meeting also mentioned that economic growth and GDP is a rather poor measure of sustainable development is a success.
But unfortunately it can hardly be said that the conference lived up to expectations. Jannike Kihlberg writes in DN that the meeting did not become the blowtorch in the butt that the world needs, and I can not help but agree. The recommendations from the meeting in Stockholm are not binding, and seven years after the Paris Agreement, none of the largest emitting countries have managed to live up to their promises. When politicians promise a lot but do not live up to their promises, it is no wonder that people get annoyed. Our generation, which will grow up with the worst consequences of climate change, is frustrated and scared. It's easy to lose hope - it's been a long time since I thought a climate conference would lead to results that actually work.
But of course there is still a glimmer of light in the dark, and that is the climate activists. Although it was reported that a number of activists from low-income countries did not get their visas on time in order to actually be able to travel to Sweden, many people went to Stockholm, both to participate in the UN meeting and to demonstrate. Greta Thunberg went on strike with Fridays for Future, shouting that we want to see change after 50 years of conferences like this. As usual, it is these climate activists, often young people from the global south, who are forced to push for a more equal and fair climate change.
John Kerry, the US special envoy for the climate, hit his head on the nail when he said that the only way to address the issue of trust is to get the job done. Before COP27, the next major climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in November, politicians must start listening to climate activists and moving from words to action. Otherwise, I'm afraid I'll have to write a similar column this fall, only with even more despair.