Can petrol taxes that go to investments in public transport be a good way to reduce climate emissions? Photo: Nomad (CC BY 2.0)

Current debate

Opinions differ on how to reduce emissions

Petrol tax, innovations or Swedish exports. The bids on how to reduce climate emissions were many on this week's opinion pages. In addition, several debaters pointed out that Sweden should take more responsibility for human rights.

In 2020, the world organization UN celebrates 75 years. Six representatives of UN-related organizations in Sweden list in Aftonbladet 5 issues that will be high on the agenda next year. They write that all of these are close to Sweden's national issues of interest, with human rights as a common denominator. The UN is a unique arena, the debaters say, and call on Sweden, like all member states, to use it to defend human rights.

In the magazine OmVärlden, seven Swedish organizations write about the vulnerability that environmentalists around the world are threatened by and point out that the Swedish government must take more responsibility. "Use Sweden's good reputation and press for the protection of environmental defenders, in trade contexts, in international forums and in bilateral relations with states that commit abuses," they write.

The UN climate summit COP25 in Madrid, Spain ends on Friday after two weeks. On Swedish debate pages, the energy issue and emission reductions are discussed in connection with the meeting. On Göteborgs-Posten's editorial page, Thomas Sterner writes that tax on carbon dioxide is the most cost-effective way to go and that popular support for climate policy is important. According to him, such support can be mobilized by "taking the funds from petrol taxes and taxes on coal to subsidizing cleaner public transport and renewable electricity for those who cannot afford it".

Björn Lomborg at the think tank Copenhagen Consensus Center is critical of the fact that many advocate achieving zero carbon dioxide emissions as quickly as possible. Namely, small economies are being pressured in this way to switch - at high cost and little result on the global temperature reduction. He wants to see greater investments in green energy.

"The Madrid summit should focus on innovation and set a more achievable goal, with far greater benefits for humanity, at a much lower cost," writes Björn Lomborg.

Louise Meijer, environmental and climate policy spokesperson for the Moderates, also does not believe in an immediate complete halt to emissions. She believes that fossil fuels will be necessary for some time to come.

"Then it is better for the climate that petrol and diesel are produced under conditions and in countries where the climate impact is as low as possible," writes Louise Meijer.

One such country is Sweden, she says and points out that Swedish industry can thus generate growth at the same time.


A selection of the last week's editorial and debate articles about Sweden's role in the world:

Human Rights

UN cooperation also makes Sweden better
Annelie Börjesson et al., Aftonbladet

Stop the murders of environmental heroes
Karin Lexén et al., OmVärlden

The climate summit in Madrid

Climate negotiations are ongoing
Thomas Sterner, Gothenburg Post

A reasonable middle ground should be the goal in Madrid
Björn Lomborg, Svenska Dagbladet

Climate smart with high growth in Swedish industry
Louise Meijer, Svenska Dagbladet  

Relations with China

China's threat to Sweden is the whole EU's problem
Jenny Wennberg, Aftonbladet

Do not fall away from China's blackmail
Editorial board, Sydsvenskan

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