Tomorrow the Global Justice Now campaign will make actions at the
simultaneous Vattenfall Annual
general Meeting and the governmental Stockholm+40 meeting towards Rio+20
with 40 environmental
ministers present. Even the Chinese premier Wen Jiaboa is present at the
Stockholm+40 meeting with
strong Chinese presence in general as well. Politely and obviously at home
one delegate stated that what
you in the west need is a revolution, adding that it is necessary in his
country to in the kind of cute
atmosphere surrounding illusionary UN summits. 40 years ago the first UN
conference on environment
took place in Stockholm than dominated by the Americans with equal self
confidence the American
dominated the scene. The reason why such a high level person as the
Chinese premier is present is
according to press sources the Chinese interest in drilling of roil in the
Arctic and sweden is chairing
the Arctic council at the moment.
Below you find our statement to the two meetings tomorrow. We will do some
action, among the
cooking som braunkohl suppe, (Brown cabbage soup, somewhat untranslatable
into english but useful
in both German and Swedish language, braun kohl is the coal of less quality
that Vattenfall digs out of
the German soil when they do not run nuclear power stations badly.
Today, April 25, environmental ministers from several countries visit the
Swedish Parliament to
celebrate the 40th anniversary of UN first Environmental Summit in
Stockholm 1972. The meeting
precedes the UN Rio+20 Summit, in June this year, where the world’s
countries gather under the theme
The Swedish Government is keen to show the world how Sweden continues to
take a leading role in
environmental policy making.
By coincidence, the power company Vattenfall, 100 percent owned by the
swedish state, has its annual
General Meeting in Stockholm on the same day.
Vattenfall has in several campaigns been claiming that they are part of the
solution to climate change by
investing in renewable energy and carbon capture and storage. But the truth
is quite different. In the
past decade, Vattenfall has invested heavily in coal, primarily in Germany
Today, coal plants owned by Vattenfall is responsible for about 90 million
tons of carbon dioxide
emissions outside of Sweden. It is much more than Sweden’s total emissions
of about 60 million tonnes.
And emissions are projected to increase in future.
It doesn’t have to be that way. The Swedish Government could easily decide
that Vattenfall has to invest
all its profits in renewable energy, and set a deadline by which all fossil
based power should be phased
out and replaced with renewable energy.
Current owner directive obliges to hardly anything. Swedish Prime Minister
Fredrik Reinfeldt argued a
few years ago that Vattenfall has to operate on a commercial basis.
Swedish Vattenfall, currently the third largest emitter of CO2 among power
companies in Europe, is an
example of what happens when democratic governance has to stand back for
market solutions – when
economy is more important than environment.
This illustrates the danger with the world leaders current ambitions for
the Rio Summit in June 2012,
where it is assumed that a market-driven so-called green economy can
overcome the huge
environmental and climate challenges we face. We risk a world where
important natural resources and
biodiversity are turned into commodities exposed for financial speculation.
Vattenfall is, in a Swedish context, a key instrument in the transition to
a fossil free and renewable
energy system. However, it requires clear direction and sharp investment
requirements and timetables
from an active owner. It’s time for the Swedish government to be that owner
IMMEDIATE ACTION FOR THE TRANSFORMATION OF VATTENFALL TO A COMPANY WITH
INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION OF NATURE’S RIGHTS – SAY NO TO THE COMMODITIZATION
DEMOCRACY, SOCIAL JUSTICE AND PARTICIPATION IS NECESSARY IN A SUSTAINABLE
SWEDISH NETWORK for GLOBAL JUSTICE NOW