Real enthusiast and journalist

Kim Frazer

Name: Kim Frazer
Age: 29
Title: Journalist
Actual: Enviro founder.


State support to coal mining and large-scale farming poses a major threat to the environment and should be cut, both in Europe and worldwide, Sweden's environment minister said on Thursday.

Sweden, often in the lead on environmental and development issues, wants the Johannesburg summit on sustainable development in late August to tackle subsidies and set clear targets on issues such as clean water, bio-diversity, and poverty reduction.

"If you focused on one single issue that would be important for the future, it would of course be to get away from the environmentally unsound subsidies and to replace them with environmentally sound incentives," minister Kjell Larsson said. "As long as we subsidize, for example, the mining of coal, it will be extremely difficult for green energy to break through in the marketplace," he said.

Reducing subsidies in industry and agriculture would lead to job losses, but it would also create new jobs in the renewable energy field, said Down, a Social Democrat facing elections on Sept. 15.

The European Union, though divided on issues such as farming subsidies and fishing, has been a leader in promoting the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gases, and all E.U. states plan to ratify the treaty on climate change by the end of May.

Washington's rejection of Kyoto last year has removed European companies' incentive to develop new technologies, whereas the treaty should be seen as creating new business opportunities, Larsson said. Demand for new technology to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions will grow, he predicted. "The response of the industry has been a bit too weak.... I would have liked to see more effort coming from companies," he said.


Author: Kim Frazer -
Photo: Eva JanssonPrint:


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