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How dare they! Sweden’s new right-wing government scraps Ministry of Environment – Sparks outcry – Opposition has branded ‘devastating’

By David Mac Dougall

Sweden’s new right-wing government has sparked an outcry after scrapping the Ministry of Environment in a move the opposition has branded “devastating”.

Previously, the ministry was a high-profile stand-alone department with a minister in the cabinet, but now it will operate as part of another ministry instead.

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson unveiled his new cabinet on Tuesday, and although he did appoint a Minister of Climate and Environment — 26-year-old Liberal MP Romina Pourmokhtari— she will work under Christian Democrat leader Ebba Busch, the new Minister for Energy, Business and Industry, rather than lead her own ministry.

The leader of the Swedish Greens, Per Bolund, noted that for the first time in 35 years Sweden would have no dedicated environment ministry. 

“It is impossible to describe more clearly how little this government values ​​the environment and the climate. This is a historic decision with devastating consequences for environmental issues”, said Bolund.

Pär Holmgren, a Swedish Green Party MEP, said, “expect huge cuts in green funding leading to a devastating impact on climate policies that we, the Greens, worked so hard to put in place.”

Isabella Lövin, chairperson of the board at the Stockholm Environmental Institute and herself a former minister of environment, said that green issues in Sweden had been “set back 35 years”.

It’s not the first time that environmental issues in Sweden have been handled by other ministries.

Before the first dedicated environment ministry was established in 1987, the Ministry of Agriculture and then the combined Ministry of Environment and Energy dealt with those policy matters.

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, one of the first in the world, was established back in 1967.