George W Bush has launched a new "Climate Pact" in order to save American Big Business from the restrictions in emissions of greenhouse gases in the Kyoto Protocol. He has succeeded in getting the big industrial countries in east Asia on board, as well as the ultra-conservative Australian government.
Some media has made humble comments on this pact being about "sustainable development", instead of saying the naked truth that this pact does not include any restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions. The pact is launched as a bad argument for Bush to avoid doing anything to force the American industry to cut back on CO2 emissions.
Anyone who has taken a glimpse on Mark Lynas' book High Tide – News from a warming world (Oväder på svenska) knows that the climate threat is a reality. This issue - to understand that the most crucial question for a socialist in our time is our very survival on this small planet - is something that the Norwegian Labour Youth (AUF) has a very strong tradition on working with. Swedish social democracy was much better on working with this in the 1980's when Anna Lindh was chair of the SSU and really pushed the issues in the public debate, and when issues like unemployment and the welfare state's survival luckily wasn't that alarming.
The climate issue is a big divider in international politics. The UK government is considering ration cards on CO2, while Bush is doing filthy polluter's pacts. The Swedish government has good policies, but the public debate on the issue in Sweden is very limited. It is up to us to change that!