Chennai, Feb 2- India and Sweden should strengthen cooperation in environment technology and act together against alarming climate change, said Swedish Deputy Prime Minister Maud Olofsson, following a draft UN report on climate change that said global temperatures were rising by up to 4.5 degrees Celsius.
The draft report of UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also warns that by the end of this century, many countries, including India, would experience heat waves, droughts and rising seas.
Indonesia could lose 2,000 islands by 2030 as sea levels are expected to rise about 89 cm in the time. Island countries like Saint Lucia, Fiji and the Bahamas would probably disappear, notes the panel comprising 2,500 scientists from 130 countries that met in Paris.
Oloffson, who is also Sweden's energy minister, voiced concerns over both India and Sweden being directly affected by this climate change
'I live not far from the Polar Circle and this is the first time that we did not have snow on New Year,' the minister, leading a 50-member trade delegation, said while delivering the keynote address at the India-Sweden Business Forum here Thursday.
The forum has been organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
'India and Sweden should strengthen cooperation on environment and environment technology and act together for global action on climate change,' she asserted.
Last October, a report by World Bank economist Nicholas Stern said global warming and climate change could affect India's growth story. He called for an urgent shift to a low-carbon economy in countries like India, which could translate into huge business opportunities for the developed world.
Olofsson said 'use of nuclear energy was an inevitable', though she preferred to increase use of renewable sources.
'Each country has its unique solution for its energy needs. Sweden depends on nuclear energy for 50 percent of its power needs. We are now widening the energy box. I am not fond of nuclear energy and our party has been campaigning against it,' she stated.
Sweden is a member of the nuclear supplier group and can provide what is known as 'clean energy' or 'low carbon' technologies like nuclear and wind energy technologies to India.
'With me in India, I have several examples of business within the field of environmental technology,' she said.
On relations with India, Olofsson said the Indo-Sweden Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on science and technology had proven to be successful.
'Relations with India is a top priority for Sweden. We see growing cooperation in a number of fields like biotech and environment,' she said.
Olofsson was optimistic about meeting global environmental challenges while achieving economic growth.
'Swedish energy consumption is going down while at the same time we have a good yearly increase in our GNP growth. We have also set a very ambitious target for the future - to reach a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse emissions by 2020,' she said, calling on Indian business to follow in Sweden's footsteps.