sábado, 25 de agosto de 2018

The Environment Gains Importance in the 2018 Swedish Election

The 2018 Swedish general election will take place on September 9th, but we can already say that one of the winners is the Environment.  I will provide some articles that give context in case you want to know more about what is going on in this Scandinavian country. 

Let me start with the Environmental topic. Stockholm has experienced Mediterranean heat since May  (with temperatures above 30 degrees) and this heatwave has sparked growing climate concerns  among voters. The hottest summer on record has brought an historic drought and fires all over the country that required international assistance from France, Germany, Denmark, Poland and Italy. It has been a very difficult summer.
The hit on the farmers, the forests industry and the Swedish economy in general is difficult to estimate but significant. As a consequence, environment is currently at the top of the political agenda. Immigration is still the most important topic for voters, but climate is now second ahead of health care, according to a poll from Demoskop included in Hottest Summer Bumps Up Climate Fight in Swedish Election.
On the economic front, there is a shortage in skilled labour as you can read in Swedish labour market tougher than ever. Economists argue that immigration is having a positive effect on growth - Sweden’s Economy Is Getting a Lift From Migrants - but the debate is lively about the success in integrating newcomers. If you want to read a more complete analysis you can have a look at this report OCDE Report on the Generation shift in the Swedish Labour Market.
The recent riots - Sweden riots: Why is Sweden rioting? Is it to do with the Sweden election? - have resulted in heated discussions among politicians.

Against this background, the Sweden Democrats (SD) are expected to increase their representation. They  entered the Parliament for the first time in 2010 and four years ago they became the third largest party after receiving 12.9% of the votes. You can read more here Sweden election 2018: Social Democrats could be dethroned as biggest party after 100 years
The Swedish society has changed a lot in the last few decades. According to a former IMF adviser "The growth in inequality [in Sweden] since the 1980s has been the largest among all OECD countries,” as pointed out in the Guardian The new 'people's home': how Sweden is waging war on inequality. The debate about inequality has even reached education, (further reading in What's behind the rising inequality in Sweden's schools, and can it be fixed?) including the school that the royal princess Estelle should attend. She will study in a private school against the opinion of many Swedes who believe she should study in a public school as her mother did, see Sweden's Princess Estelle to start school at 'elite' institution.
In a nutshell, there is a lot going on in Sweden. We need to wait some days to know the outcome of the Election; nevertheless, it is clear  that the environment is at the center of the political debate and it is good to see different parties making proposals to meet the zero emissions target defined last year - Sweden pledges to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2045