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International Youth Push Sweden to "Clean up the EU’s Act" on Climate Leadership July 2, 2009

Posted by Morgan in Uncategorized.

A group of young people dressed in white HAZMAT suits and green hard hats arrived at the Swedish Embassy this morning to encourage bold climate change leadership as a cornerstone of Sweden’s EU presidency. The climate advocates urged Sweden to “Clean up the EU’s Act” before the crucial international climate negotiations that will take place in Copenhagen this December.

Concerned that the EU has fallen behind as a climate champion in recent years, the group delivered a petition along with a variety of fictitious cleaning products to Lars Roth, Second Secretary for Trade and Economic Affairs at the Embassy, in order to help Sweden “clean up the EU’s Act”. These included the “Green Clean Economy Scrubber,” described as being “tough on climate change, soft on economies,” the “Bail-out Mop Bucket” for “bailing out small island nations as they go under water due to rising sea levels” and the “2020 Target Stain Remover,” a stain remover that that young advocates claimed “reduces 45% of CO2 stains by 2020,” – a reference to the CO2 reduction target that the group is urging all industrialized countries to commit to in Copenhagen. They also delivered “Copenhagen Clorox” and “Forest Sponges” to help soak up CO2.

A similar group in Berlin, Germany gained attention at the Swedish Embassy there on Wednesday. They also called for Sweden to “Clean up the EU’s Act” and got their message across by using a pressure washer to create “reverse graffiti” on the streets outside the Swedish Embassy in Berlin.

Sweden has already identified climate policy as a top EU priority in the coming months and the group encouraged Sweden’s leadership while highlighting specific aspects of climate policy that are crucial for a strong international treaty. Specifically, the group hopes to see the EU commit to providing substantial ‘adaptation funds’ to developing countries most affected by climate change, and ‘tech transfer’ to help developing countries get onto low-carbon development paths. Examples include providing agricultural assistance to countries experiencing extreme drought due to climate change and helping small island states build levies or relocate climate refugees.

The group also called for Sweden to lead the EU to commit to the short term reduction target of 40% reductions below 1990 levels by 2020 and to temperature stabilization at 1.5°C of warming above pre-industrial levels. Few industrialized countries have committed to these goals, which are necessary for avoiding catastrophic warming.

The climate advocates work with the international advocacy organization Avaaz.org, which has 3.5 million members worldwide, including 34,000 in Sweden and over 1.5 million throughout Europe.

Watch the video on YouTube!

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