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EU presidency prioritizes global warming, economic crisis
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19:27, July 15, 2009

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Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said Wednesday that global warming and the economic crisis will be priorities of his country in its capacity as holder of the European Union (EU) presidency.

Reinfeldt presented his country's work program to the newly elected European Parliament.

Sweden, which holds the rotating EU presidency for the second half of 2009, faces the task of striking a global deal on climate change at a U.N. conference in Copenhagen in late November and early December.

Reinfeldt stressed the need to act immediately against global warming.

"Our world is suffering from a fever," he said.

Reinfeldt said ice in both the north and south polar regions is shrinking rapidly, leading to dramatic impacts on both the climate and social life.

He stressed the need to invest in renewable energy and to boost energy efficiency.

"Investing in green economy will create new jobs and will stimulate growth in the decades to come," he said.

Reinfeldt also underscored the importance of funding investments in developing countries and in technology transfers.

"I want to see a Europe that takes the lead in combating climate change, which looks beyond the temptation to compete on a basis of industry, which does not pay for the emissions, which continues to leave waste to our climate," he said.

Reinfeldt stressed the need to restore confidence in the financial sector and to enhance financial supervision. He also asked for policies to get more people to work. The current situation, where three out of ten people of working age are unemployed, is not sustainable, he said.

Reinfeldt also hoped that the Lisbon Treaty, which will make EU's institutional reform possible, will be adopted during the Swedish EU presidency.

The Lisbon Treaty was turned down by Irish voters in June 2008. A second referendum is planned in the autumn.


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