As we march into the new millennium it has become increasingly evident that it is not only wise but necessary, for the world to reflect on the past hundred years. Things have changed rapidly in that time: socially we are more peaceful, economically we are richer, and mentally we are more aware. And with the year 2000 now behind us, the time has come that we put these developing traits to use and look towards the thing that should concern us the most: the future. As a developed country, Sweden has always felt the need to plan for the imminent years to come. Sweden has made great strides in developing an environmentally conscientious economy that is both beneficial and productive. As of now, most activities relate to “eco-labeling” of products and services: the largest, most necessary step to be taken. As a nation, the people of Sweden wish to work towards the common goal of global sustainable development and pledge “to apply themselves wholeheartedly to the task.”
- Combating the Deterioration of our Atmosphere
For more than a decade, leading scientists the world over have ranked the problem of outdoor air pollution as one of the highest risk health problems in the global community. Yet despite such conferences as the1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, the 1987 Montreal Protocol, and the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, the atmosphere is still being exploited and abused at an incredible rate. Every human life in developed countries is shortened an estimated five months simply because of the pollutants that are spewed into our air daily, not to mention the hundreds of direct – and countless indirect – affects that air pollution has on our ecosystem. As a nation deeply concerned about such issues, the country of Sweden feels that strong precautions must be made to preserve the natural state of our already altered atmosphere.
Recognizing that many nations would choose to remain dubious on such issues, Sweden fully supports the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and urges all national governments and U.N. bodies to delegate the financial support necessary to begin mapping a comprehensive collaboration of the health of our planet. Since such information will undoubtedly take a number of years to gather, Sweden also proposes the immediate switch of all countries to an emphasis on pollution prevention rather than pollution cleanup. Sweden also supports a universal time table to be set up for the phasing out and reducing of such emissions as sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, CFC’s, PAN’s and other environmentally detrimental gases. Sweden urges for such a reduction to be done on both a national and local level by improving energy efficiency, reducing the use of fossil fuels, increasing the use of renewable energy, slowing drastic population growth, incorporating air, water, and land pollution policies, and phasing in full-cost pricing and so called “green taxes” based on the “polluters pay” principle.