Climate change: Sweden pushes for clear rules

Minister for Environment and Climate Isabella Lövin
Photo: Kristiah Pohl/Regeringskansliet

On 2–13 December, the countries of the world are gathering for the UN Climate Change Conference COP 25 in Madrid under the Presidency of Chile. There the countries will negotiate and decide on future work under the Paris Agreement.

In Paris in 2015, the countries of the world agreed on a new global and legally binding climate agreement with the goal of keeping the global rise in temperature well below two degrees Celsius, and preferably below 1.5 degrees Celsius. During COP 25, the countries will negotiate the final parts of the Paris Agreement ‘rulebook’. This guides how the countries are to plan, communicate, implement and report on their national climate plans, and how follow-up of this work is to be carried out.

The rules that have yet to be agreed deal with international forms of cooperation. Under the Paris Agreement, countries can fulfil parts of their national climate plans by cooperating with other countries. For example, this can be done by one country carrying out climate action in another country or through emissions trading. Cooperation of this kind is intended to help reduce global emissions and strengthen sustainable development. 

“It is extremely important that emission reductions take place in reality, and not just on paper. We must therefore have robust rules on how international cooperation is to be reported so that emission reductions cannot be counted twice. It is also important that climate projects carried out in other countries lead to positive developments both for the climate and for the country in which the project is carried out,” says Minister for Environment and Climate Isabella Lövin.

Last year’s special report from the IPCC on the 1.5-degree goal showed that the countries’ current climate action is far from sufficient to meet that goal. The message that the countries must substantially increase their level of ambition so that it reflects the science has therefore been an integral part of the negotiations in 2019. Sweden is negotiating as part of the EU and has particularly emphasised that the EU should come to COP 25 with a high level of ambition. 

“The world is not doing enough to stop the climate emergency and we need to increase the pace. We can negotiate with one another, but we cannot negotiate with the climate,” says Ms Lövin.

Through its Presidency, Chile has stated that it wants to highlight the climate’s impact on the oceans. Sweden welcomes this decision, and has long worked to strengthen the link between oceans and the climate, including by co-chairing the Ocean Pathway initiative. 

Sweden’s negotiating team is led by Minister for Environment and Climate Isabella Lövin. Sweden’s chief negotiator is Mattias Frumerie.

Swedish Government