'Devastating consequences' as new Swedish government scraps environment ministry

Sweden’s latest right-wing government has sparked an outcry after scrapping the Ministry of Environment in a move the opposition has branded “devastating”.

Previously, the ministry was a high-profile stand-alone department with a minister in the cupboard, but now it’s going to operate as a part of one other ministry as a substitute.  

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson unveiled his latest cabinet on Tuesday, and although he did appoint a Minister of Climate and Environment — 26-year-old Liberal MP Romina Pourmokhtari— she is going to work under Christian Democrat leader Ebba Busch, the brand new Minister for Energy, Business and Industry, relatively than lead her own ministry.  

The leader of the Swedish Greens, Per Bolund, noted that for the primary time in 35 years Sweden would don’t have any dedicated environment ministry. 

“It’s inconceivable to explain more clearly how little this government values ​​the environment and the climate. It is a historic decision with devastating consequences for environmental issues”, said Bolund.  

Pär Holmgren, a Swedish Green Party MEP, said, “expect huge cuts in green funding resulting in a devastating impact on climate policies that we, the Greens, worked so hard to place in place.” 

Isabella Lövin, chairperson of the board on the Stockholm Environmental Institute and herself a former minister of environment, said that green issues in Sweden had been “set back 35 years”.

It isn’t the primary time that environmental issues in Sweden have been handled by other ministries. 

Before the primary dedicated environment ministry was established in 1987, the Ministry of Agriculture after which the combined Ministry of Environment and Energy handled those policy matters. 

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, one among the primary on this planet, was established back in 1967.

What’s the latest Swedish government doing concerning the climate crisis?

Within the Swedish government’s latest programme, unveiled last week, the environment is flagged as one among the seven key priority areas to tackle in the primary 12 months of office, although many initiatives are more closely linked with the energy crisis. 

The policy agenda, outlined in a 62-page document, committed Sweden to satisfy current national and international goals – just like the Paris Agreement – on reducing carbon emissions. 

The federal government has also earmarked more cash for nuclear power, with €36 billion credit guarantees to construct latest nuclear power stations, and likewise plans to introduce rules to make it tougher to shut down existing nuclear plants.

And to make sure the protection of electricity supply within the shorter term (and to maintain prices low), the federal government will investigate whether it’s viable to reopen two nuclear power stations within the south of the country which were closed over the previous couple of years.

A price cap for energy bills, funded by the federal government, shall be introduced by November, and the country’s network of charging points for electric vehicles shall be expanded.


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