Young people gather for climate strike in Melbourne. Photo: Julian Meehan

Current debate

Global school strike for climate - What will be the next step?

During the past week, debate and leadership sites have discussed Swedish security policy, Sweden's and the UN's human rights work and the Swedish international relationship with China. What is the next step in climate work after a global school strike? And how should Sweden develop its diplomatic relationship with China?

In connection with the global school strike, Global Strike for the Future, which took place on Friday (March 15), the debate over Swedish climate policy has heated up. The Green Party's spokesperson Isabella Lövin writes that Sweden's efforts for climate, the environment and gender equality make a difference in the world and that Sweden as an example of a climate-ambitious country is desperately needed now, especially when large countries such as the USA and Brazil go in opposite directions in environmental work. She believes that "Even in Sweden, there are too many parties that are more inclined to condemn climate policy than to take the climate crisis seriously", as populist and nationalist governments do around the world.

In his debate article in Göteborgs-Posten, Rickard Nordin, like Lövin, describes Sweden as seen from the outside as a pioneering country in climate work, but points out that more needs to be done. He calls for pursuing policies that reach beyond Sweden's borders. Mattias Goldmann from the think tank Fores replies to Norway's post "Shame does not shame aviation - stopping flying is not the solution" and presents five proposals to the government that will reduce emissions, not travel.

Last week Current debate we wrote about Amnesty, Diakonia and the Fair Actions debate article with the headline "Tighten the requirements for Swedish companies' human rights work" which addressed shortcomings in the sustainability report of Swedish companies and failure to follow UN principles.

Amnesty, PAX and Swedwatch returned to the UN's guiding principles for human rights in their post in SvD this week. This time to a more specific criminal investigation and an expected prosecution against Lundin Petroleum. The company claimed that they contributed to peace and development in their concession area in southern Sudan between 1997 and 2003, but reports show that the civilian population was hit even harder by the civil war due to their presence. Therefore, the writers urge all Swedish owners in the company to take responsibility for the survivors who were affected in the area to receive compensation.

Opinions about how Sweden's relationship with China will develop in the future, concerning trade intentions and security measures, differ, points out the main leader of Sydsvenskan. Diplomat and Ambassador Gui Congyou highlights Sweden's and China's good future prospects and continued respectful cooperation between the countries. Congyou: “Both China and Sweden adhere to diversity and agree to protect free trade and to act on climate change. We share the view that international conflicts should be resolved by political means […] ”.

SÄPO, on the other hand, warns of China's extensive intelligence activities globally, which have also been conducted against Swedish interests in terms of, for example, strategic acquisitions and business collaborations, writes Sydsvenskan's main leader. This is based on SÄPO's yearbook 2018, which was published on the same day as Congyou's debate article. Gunnar Jonsson contributes with his opinion on the subject and writes in DN that the UN Council on Human Rights has not done enough to mark against China in this respect, as well as against the nation state's abuse of freedom of expression. Jonsson also believes that the EU is too late to react to China's progress as a major power and the plans for the New Silk Road.


"China's rapid development provides opportunities for Sweden"
Gui Congyou, DN

"Do not let us be deceived. Do not get Xi from China ”
Principal, Sydsvenskan

"Italian populism, Chinese money - what could go wrong?"
Gunnar Jonsson, DN


"The striking children are right"
Isabella Lövin, ETC.

"That is why I am demonstrating for the climate today"
Richard Nordin, GP

"How to get climate-smart flights"
Mattias Goldmann, GP

Violations of international law, UN principles

"Lundin Petroleum should rehabilitate victims"
Amnesty, Swedwatch, PAX, Svenska Dagbladet

"Tighten the requirements for Swedish companies' human rights work"
Amnesty, Diakonia, Fair Action, Expressen

Sweden's role in the EU

"EU must do more against tax havens"
Robert Höglund, SVD

"Increased gender equality is one of the key issues that the EU should work on."
Amani Loubani, Southern Sweden


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