Science communication

2021.09.03

Too vague recommendations from Baltic Sea parliamentarians

The resolution on climate change and biodiversity from the Baltic Sea Parliamentarian Conference holds good ambitions, but lacks the level of concretion required to make real change.

Text: Gun Rudquist

Baltic Sea Parliamentarian Conference, BSPC is a network of parliamentarians from all the countries bordering the Baltic Sea engaged in important issues for the common sea. The topics range from social security and democracy to environment, including climate change. BSPC has been around since 1991, aiming at increasing the collaboration around the sea and also putting Baltic Sea issues on the agenda in a wider European perspective. 

The work is mainly driven by initiatives from the parliamentarians. One example is the working group on climate change and biodiversity initiated during the Swedish BSPC chairmanship 2020 – 2021. The group has for instance organised webinars where the Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre presented the latest research on the topic. 

The group has summarised its work in a report, BSPC working group report on Climate Change and Biodiversity (CCB) – interim report August 2021, which was presented at the BSPC annual meeting August 30th 2021. The group suggested a number of political recommendations to be accepted at the meeting. In general, the recommendations held good ambitions and covered key issues for climate and biodiversity. But as is often the case with recommendations, they are far too vague. Instead of agreeing on “take significant steps in line with the UN Agenda 2030…” it would have been better to say which steps, how and when. That might have led to real change. 

Unfortunately the annual meeting didn’t sharpen the political recommendations, which remain overarching, goal oriented and without additional time-set actions. The resolution didn’t only cover environmental issues but mainly other important issues. 

The working group for climate change and biodiversity will be continuing their work until 2023. So, they still have time to come up with more hands-on political recommendations. Hopefully already at the next annual conference which takes place in Stockholm in June.