President Obama met with the King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden before flying to St. Petersburg for the G-20 Summit.
His visit was the first bilateral visit by a President of the United States to Sweden.
President Obama and leaders from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden said they share the goal of reaching a binding global climate agreement by 2015, noting that taking action on climate change, domestically and internationally, “requires mobilizing scaled up climate finance.”
In a Joint Statement, the Nordic leaders said they will “join the United States in ending public financing for new coal-fired power plants overseas, except in rare circumstances.”
They agreed on the importance of reaching “an ambitious, comprehensive, fair, and inclusive climate agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2015 that is consistent with science, mindful of the two degree target, and applicable to all.”
Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt told a press conference Wednesday that climate change and its consequences are “one of the most important challenges to our societies.”
“Sweden has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent since 1990, while GDP at the same time has increased by 60 percent. So there is no contradiction between economic growth and the protection of environment,” said Reinfeldt.
“We have agreed to work together in the international climate negotiations to make sure that other countries also are prepared to cut their emissions,” said the Swedish leader. “This is the only way that we can protect our environment.”
Article appearing courtesy Celsias.