We need to do our own homework to reach the sustainable development goals

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The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a part of a new universal Agenda that is of highest priority to the Swedish Government. It is Sweden’s ambition to be a leader in implementing the Agenda 2030 – both at home and through contributing to its global implementation.

To deal with climate change we need international frameworks and joint efforts by all stakeholders and we need to cooperate, we need multilateralism – but we also need to do our own homework through transformative steps to shift our way of living and move our societies onto a sustainable and resilient path. And these measures are urgently needed! In contrast to the Millennium Development Goals, the SDGs cannot be achieved without far-reaching change in domestic policy and action – also in developed countries like Sweden. Another important difference is the interlinkage of the goals.
The Swedish Government therefore recently presented the largest ever investment in climate and environment in the Budget Bill for 2018. An additional 500 million euros will be invested in environment and climate efforts in Sweden and outside our country. It includes major structural investments to adapt Sweden and foremost its industry and transport sector, but it also includes investments so that sustainability becomes a natural part of everyday activities. Examples of this are investments in solar cells, charging points for e-cars and subventions on electric bikes. These measures include country-wide investments to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, adapt to renewable energy and safeguard biological diversity in oceans and on land. Special measures are also being presented to ensure flourishing and sustainable urban areas.
“Our generation must be able to pass on to our children a society in which the major environmental problems have been solved and where there are flourishing urban areas with healthy environments to grow up in. A lot remains to be done if we are to succeed with this – investments in sustainable development have been insufficient for far too long,” says the Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, Isabella Lövin.
I’m very much looking forward to the important discussion on this topic on the 10th of October in the framework of the “Nordic talks”.

Per Holmström
Swedish Ambassador to the Netherlands

Foto: Sören Andersson/Regeringskansliet