Environmental Objectives Days 2014: From knowledge to action

NEWS | 2014-05-14

Environmental quality objectives are the framework for Sweden’s environmental work, and all systematic reviews by Mistra EviEM are linked to at least one of these objectives. During this year’s Environmental Objectives Days on 6-7 May 2014, EviEM presented its ongoing reviews.

Both the Swedish Minister for the Environment, Lena Ek, and the audience showed their opinions about various environmental issues via red or green cards. Photo: Anna Metzger

The annual event focuses on the issues that are of interest to county councils, national agencies, industry associations and others who work towards Sweden’s environmental quality objectives. By providing a scientific basis to administrative agencies, EviEM’s reports work towards these objectives, too. The Environmental Objectives Days are organised by the county administrative boards, the regional cooperation and development within the environmental objectives system (Regional Utveckling och Samverkan i miljömålssystemet, RUS), and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. In 2014, the Stockholm County Administrative Board hosted this event.

The first day focused on the theme “The environmental quality objectives – how they control us”. As a starting point for discussions, Johan Sørensson from the Swedish Agency for Public Management and Claes Norgren from the Swedish National Audit Office presented their reviews of the environmental objectives system. Among other things, Johan Sørensson pointed out that county administrative boards and national agencies often fail to report on the work towards environmental objectives, and he called for better monitoring. Claes Norgren presented the results of a series of reviews in the field of ​​climate change and highlighted that climate and energy goals often were very unclearly phrased, as well as that the current national climate objectives lack a long-term perspective (after 2020).

Viktoria Ingman, the Secretary of the All Party Committee on Environmental Objectives (Miljömålsberedningen, MMB), spoke about the strategy for a coherent and sustainable water policy and sustainable land use that would be submitted to the Swedish government in June 2014. MMB’s mission is to develop strategies for milestone targets, measures and instruments in particularly difficult areas that require long-term political considerations and where a range of interests from society matter.

Lena Ek, the Swedish Minister for the Environment, finished the day by underscoring the importance of the environmental quality objectives. She said that she often hears that Sweden’s environmental quality objectives system is unique, and that Sweden therefore has a pioneering role in the world by dealing with environmental issues in this long-term and coherent manner. To reach our goals, she said, it would therefore be important to work toward concrete milestones and to be positive about achieving them.