Sweden pushes for aggressive global agreement
After difficult final negotiations at the COP21 Climate Summit in Paris, the countries of the world agreed on a new global and legally binding climate agreement. "Sweden has long been pushing for an agreement that strengthens climate efforts. For the first time we have a global climate agreement where everyone is contributing and this is extremely important," said Swedish Minister for Climate and the Environment Åsa Romson. The agreement means there is a plan in place for reducing climate emissions, setting out to keep the global rise in temperature well below 2 degrees Celsius. "Sweden must continue to show leadership … we will become one of the world's first fossil-free welfare nations and, in doing so, inspire and encourage others," said Dr. Romson. The final plan isn’t as ambitious as Sweden wanted, but there are rules for countries to report their emissions, for the most vulnerable countries to receive special priority, and every five years they will gather to see how their combined climate efforts are taking shape. "I feel particularly hopeful for the future ... together we can tackle the climate challenge," said Dr. Romson. More information can be found at http://www.government.se/press-releases/2015/12/climate-agreement-concluded-in-paris/

Swedish citizens charged for terrorist crimes
Two Gothenburg residents, ages 30 and 32, were sentenced on Dec. 11 to life in prison for terrorist offenses. The court proved both Swedish nationals sympathized with a regime based on Shariah law and the creation of a caliphate. There is also strong evidence proving they were involved in the executions of two people in Syria in 2013; police found graphic video evidence of the duo taking part in the murders. "Many people brag about what they do and have the ability to document their actions," says Sven-Erik Alhem, former Attorney General and legal adviser. "They didn't hold the knife, but otherwise they were highly involved," prosecutor Agnetha Hildning Qvarnstrom said during the trial. The court argued that since the killings and the video intended to seriously intimidate the population of Syria, the two men's actions are considered a terrorist crime.


Sweden supports Phase II to benefit vulnerable countries
Sweden, several other individual Member States and the European Union (EU) have pledged support for the second phase of the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF). At a Pledging Conference in Nairobi on December 14 a total of EUR 57 million was donated in support of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). This amounts to about two-thirds of the total pledges made. The contributions are part of a much larger effort to assist the most vulnerable countries in benefitting from international trade. As the largest Aid for Trade donor, the EU and its Member States have provided over EUR 22 billion since 2012. This second phase of support will start on January 1, 2016.