NexTV Africa & Middle East

Complete News World

Hello – WWF's Gustav Linde in 2024: “Nature and climate are more important than ever”

Hello – WWF's Gustav Linde in 2024: “Nature and climate are more important than ever”

Record global temperatures, wars and political tensions in the world are raising concerns about what the future will look like. At the same time, it is urgent to save nature, the environment and the climate.

2023 has been an eventful year. It was an agreement from the COP28 meeting in Dubai, and Sweden was EU president when the EU Nature Restoration Act was negotiated, although Sweden and some other countries voted against it. Despite the opposition, we hope that the law will be reached in 2024. At home, the government has finally presented a new climate action plan, which unfortunately does not provide sufficient measures to achieve climate goals.

What are the most important climate and environmental policy issues in 2024?
In 2024, environmental politics will be dominated by the EU elections. The election of Parliament, and especially the Commission to be elected later this year, is absolutely crucial to the role the EU will play in climate and environmental policy in the next five years. Currently, the EU is more ambitious than the member states themselves, but this may change if the new Commission does not prioritize the environment and climate to the same extent. The next five years will determine the extent to which the EU Green Deal and the European and global climate and environmental targets already set are implemented.

In the spring, the European Union will also vote on new nature restoration legislation, which it hopes will pass. It is necessary to restore damaged nature.
Countries around the world must also submit national action plans to implement the new global framework with the aim of reversing biodiversity loss by 2030.

See also  Helsinki stops serving meat | GP

This year, 2024, is also a great election year and a great test for democracy and climate. A record number of people on the planet will go to the polls in many of the world's most populous countries: India, the United States, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Russia, Mexico – and in the European Union, as I said, there are elections for the European Parliament. Despite all the political challenges and tensions, we must never give up the fight for a more sustainable world. We cannot survive without nature and healthy ecosystems, they are the lifeline of the future.

What issues do you think are most important in the EU elections?
The European Union plays a very important role in global climate leadership. The EU needs to set targets for the union to reach climate neutrality by 2040. This is a must to keep the Paris Agreement target of 1.5°C within reach and avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis. In connection with this, I also hope that the European Union will set a final year for the use of coal, fossil gas and oil. The European Union is one of the key actors, and a rapid phase-out within the EU would have a significant climate impact, but would also push other actors to act. The current decision means that European Union countries must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent until 2030 and make the European Union climate neutral by 2050 at the latest.

Another important issue is the green transformation of the food and agriculture system, which I hope will mobilize the EU budget in the long term to build a sustainable food system. I would also like to see the EU investing in nature and biodiversity. The EU should phase out or redirect all environmentally harmful subsidies at EU and national levels, and instead use these funds to support initiatives related to nature and the green transition.

See also  Denmark withdraws its soldiers from Mali | GP

I also hope that we will see Member States' investments in nature double to at least €50 billion per year. These funds can be usefully used in conservation efforts to restore and protect valuable nature, as well as in sustainable agriculture and green investments.

What kind of development do you hope to see in Sweden in the next year?
– I hope the government takes big steps forward when it comes to nature and climate. In the state budget, I hope the government will increase funding for climate change and adaptation as well as to restore, protect and nurture precious nature. I also see the need to prioritize near-term emissions reductions to a much greater extent and to integrate adaptation more deeply into urban and infrastructure planning going forward. The EU must have a clear goal of climate neutrality by 2040 at the latest, in order to maintain the Paris Agreement target of 1.5°C and avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis.

In 2024, the government will present the National Biodiversity Action Plan, which will set out how Sweden will meet its commitments in the global framework agreed by the countries of the world in Montreal, Canada in December 2022. Here too, I of course hope to see a significant increase in ambition on the part Governmental.

It can be difficult to work with climate and environmental issues when results are delayed. What is your trick to not get frustrated?
– I gather my energy by enjoying exactly what is at stake. This year we have had a real winter, wonderfully cold and snowy. It's winter that we'll have less and less of because of climate change. Being outside and enjoying the beauty and tranquility provides inspiration on many levels.

See also  Lithuanian diplomats leave China - did not feel safe

Calendar 2024
Parliament vote on the Nature Restoration Act (will take place one of the following days) February 26-29
Final decision of member states at the Nature Restoration Act Environmental Council meeting, before 25 March
Elections in India are in April or May, the date is unclear
Järva Week May 29 – June 1
EU-Fall June 9
Medal Week June 25 – 28
The government will present the state budget for 2025 next September
WWF introductory report on the living planet. October 10
US presidential elections November 5
UN Conference on Biodiversity in Colombia, 21 October – 1 November
UN Climate Summit in Baku November 11-24, 2024