Stina Bergström (MP)

Pratar klimat i Ryssland

Förra veckan tillbringade jag några spännande dagar i den lilla ryska staden Naryan-Mar vid Barents hav. Jag deltog i den 8:e parlamentariska konferensen i Barentssamarbete. Det var stort och lärorikt att få sitta vid samma bord som parlamentariker från Ryssland, Norge och Finland och diskutera hållbarhet i regionen ur olika aspekter. Jag höll ett anförande med rubriken ”Barents – the global canary. Climate change – what are the impacts, de role of science and what is Sweden doing about it”. Du kan läsa mitt anförande sist i det här inlägget.

Jag ledde oxå en session av mötet tillsammans med Valentina Pivnenko, som sitter i Duman, vilket kändes lite speciellt. Valentina var en bestämd dam och tillät inte att någon talare överskred sin talartid på 12 minuter.

Naryan-Mar var fascinerande, inte likt något annat jag upplevt. En stad med 20 000 ute på tundran vid ishavet. Det finns ingen väg till staden. Och isen gick precis upp på älven när vi var där.

Den svenska delegationen på plats. Jag, Lars Mejern Larsson, Staffan Danielsson och Emilie Töyrä

 

Leder en session tillsammans med Valentina Pivnenko

 

Snön låg kvar, men isen gick upp på floden när vi var i Nayran-Mar

 

“Barents – the global canary.

 Climate change – what are the impacts, the role of science  and what is Sweden doing about it”

It´s truly a great pleasure to be here in Naryan-Mar. It is the first time

 

I would like, first of all, to thank everyone who made this conferens possible. The Russian hospitality is famous around the world. I am glad that I finally have the opportunity to experience it myself.

While many parts of the world suffer from violence and conflicts,  the Barents region is characterised by peace, stability, low tension

and cooperation based on respect for international law.

But the Barents region has also the role of being the canary in the coalmine.
The Barents is among the first regions in the world to experience the reality of climate change.

Average temperatures in the Polar Regions are rising twice as fast as they are elsewhere on earth. The Polar Regions are particularly vulnerable to a warming climate.

We are starting to see the effects of the changing climate back home in Sweden.

The Sami population in Sweden are reindeer herders, 5000 Sami own 250 000 reindeers in Sweden. Today they use advanced technologies such as Internet and satellite picturers to communicate and to locate the best grazing for their herds.  But climate change is having a negative impact. Traditionally winters in the north of Sweden are cold and have a lot of snow but in the last ten years the grazing has been bad. Warm weather and rain creates a hard ice bark on the ground so the reindeer struggle to get to the lichen that they eat.

This happens more and more often. During the last winter, half of the 52 Sami villages, that are the collective that manage the reindeer herds, needed financial help for the costs of supplemental fodder and relocation of the herds to better grazing areas.

The researchers see a connection between the diminishing sea ice and the warm winters. And they expect that warm winters will become increasingly common in the future.

The world’s ice sheets are melting fast and the permafrost is thawing. Only two decades from now, the Arctic Ocean could be largely free of sea ice in the summers. This will not only have grave consequences for the region’s people, wildlife, and plants; it’s most serious impact is the rising sea levels.

Meltwater from glaciers and ice caps in the Arctic  accounts for one third of current global sea-level rise. This we know because our scientists have worked long and hard on studying the changes to our climate.

Swedish climate research in the Barents and Arctic region has a long tradition.
As a result of long measurement series, in some cases up to one hundred years from our research stations in Abisko and Tarfala, Sweden contribute to greater global understanding of climate change.

Adaptation to a changed climate requires good knowledge about the effects not only on biological and technical systems but also on communities and humans.

Ladies and gentlemen

Scientific collaboration between our countries is a strong and ongoing effort. SWERUS-C3 is a multi-disciplinary program with scientists from Sweden, the United States and Russia.

It is researching how the disappearing sea ice and the changes to the permafrost is leading to carbon and methane release from the sediments. The research is led by Swedish Professor Örjan Gustafsson, and Russian Professor Igor Semiletov.

In order to conduct this research the scientists boards the Swedish ice breaker Odin. Odin is a unique research platform which enables a unique opportunity for advanced research in remote areas that are difficult to access.

Particularly the thawing of the permafrost is a grave concern, not only to the people in the Barents region where roads and buildings collapse but globally.

This because The Arctic permafrost is calculated to contain about 1 000 billion tons of carbon. About half of this is locked in the frozen Siberian tundra. This can be compared with the carbon in all the trees and plants globally – that is about 650 billion tons. And the carbon in the atmosphere that is about 730 billion tons of carbon.

It is clear that if the carbon and the methane that is locked in the tundra would be released into the atmosphere the climate change effect of that amount of additional greenhouse gases would be the end of life on earth as we humans know it.

Friends,

Our Oceans are in desperate need of something. Not more facts, but action! Half of the Great Barrier Reef has died in the last two years.
That is why Sweden together with the island nation of Fiji have jointly taken the initiative for the Oceans conference, a United Nations conference to support efforts to save the world’s oceans.

This is the largest initiative Sweden has taken within the United Nations system since the 1972 Stockholm Conference – the first United Nations conference on the environment.

At the same moment as we meet here, 8000 participants from around the world are meeting in New York at the Oceans Conference. The goal is to come to an agreement on how to save our oceans, how to end the dumping of plastics and waste into the seas and how to end over fishing. And how our oceans shall manage a warming climate.

The United Nations 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement provide a science-based path away from these risks and towards equality and sustainability.

Like no other generation before us, we have the knowledge, technology, money and capacity to save our planet.

We cannot say we do not know what to do. It is now more than a quarter of a century since the first IPCC report came where the global scientific community jointly warned us politicians about the dangerous effects of climate change.

Since then our knowledge has deepened but the basic message and science has pretty much stayed the same.

We need to stop: Stop burning fossil fuels, Stop unsustainable logging and Stop deforestation!

It’s a win-win, as the business community knows. Investment in green solutions creates new jobs. Solar and wind now provide more jobs in the United States than what the coal industry does.

Sustainability has become a business case. And in the longer term, the climate smart growth story is the only growth story on offer. If we do not heed the warnings and continue with business as usual Arctic warming could have a cumulative net cost of 90 trillion dollars at the end of this century – that is trillion not billion dollars ladies and gentlemen!

The Swedish example shows that it is possible.

Since 1990 we have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 23 percent.

Meanwhile our GDP has grown by 58 percent.

Sweden has set the next target, Seven out of eight parties in parliament are behind our new ambitious goal:  Sweden will be carbon neutral by 2045.

We have adopted a goal of reducing our emissions from the transport sector with
70 percent until 2030.

But the most important – we have adopted a new Climate Framework bill.
All governments – the current one,  and the ones to come – have to reduce emissions and any new bills have to show that they are in accordance with this development. And there is an independent scientific Council that will check that the goverment do this!

Our current government, where my party, the Swedish Green Party is part of the governing coalition, has greatly increased the efforts in reducing emissions.

We have created a competitive system of state support for cities and regions that co-finance their investments in climate smart development such as light rail, biogas, and charging stations for electrical cars.

We have also increased taxes on fossil fuels and the support for solar cells.

With the introduction of a Bonus-Malus system for cars, the levy on fossil guzzling SUVs will pay for the subsidy to electrical cars.

Because of increased competition from renewable energy and higher costs for additional safety measures, following the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, the nuclear industry has started to close down. Four out of ten reactors are scheduled to shut down in the next couple of years.

Friends!

I really like the motto of the Russian chairmanship in the BEAC:

”Working together for innovative, smart and sustainable Barents region”

As the great Russian author Dostoyevsky once wrote:
”It takes something more than intelligence to act intelligently”
I would say that it takes collaboration!

Our common goal, to save the Barents region, requires a joint priority, political will and a process of new scientific research, business innovation and many determined steps towards a sustainable future.

Let the Barents region be a place where we show the world that we can overcome our differences and work together for a sustainable future!

Thank you for your time and attention.

 

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