(Det talade ordet gäller)
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is indeed a pleasure to be here today, and an honour to open this high-level symposium on climate and energy.
The need for sustainable development has been of great importance on the global agenda for a long time. In fact, I attended the first UN Conference on the Human Environment when it took place in Stockholm back in 1972.
Twenty years later, in 1992, the global aspirations to ensure sustainability for future generations were agreed at the UN conference in Rio in Brazil. I attended also this very important meeting, which argued for a more balanced approach - combining environmental, social and economic dimensions of development.
Since then, it is indeed a fact that public awareness of climate issues has increased. We have learned, through science that climate change is real and is affecting all parts of the world. New facts were brought up very clearly by the IPCC report only last month. I believe it is now crucial for us to think and realize how a warmer world will affect coming generations and their lives.
We need to find efficient ways to address these evident challenges now confronting us. However, I am encouraged when seeing how development of different climate-friendly solutions grows rapidly in many areas, and the opportunities they provide.
In France as well as in Sweden it has been proved that decreasing emissions are possible to combine with growth and sustainable development. It is therefore my belief that a change to a low-carbon approach can improve economic growth and offer new jobs. And, at the same time result in cleaner air, better health, lower poverty.
I think one could say that the European Union by example has been in the forefront. It is my hope that this will continue, thereby achieving strong commitments to combat climate change.
Ladies and gentlemen, we all need to commit ourselves to a new international climate agreement that keeps us well below a two degree temperature rise. Let us therefore, here in Paris this time next year and under French chairmanship, put the rights and needs of our children and grandchildren at the core of a new climate agreement.
Be sure, I will closely follow it up!
With these words, I wish you all a most interesting and rewarding colloquium here today.