THE JURY OF 2021
Chairman, Swedish Climate Policy Council
What do you see as the most important sustainability issues in 2021?
"The most important issue in 2021 is to increase the pace of development towards a fossil-free and resource-efficient society. To simply increase the pace of implementation of all the agreements, goals, strategies and plans that already exist. We are well aware of the problems and challenges. Lots of solutions are already developed. Now it is more about the will to push for and to work together for our common future."
Wildlife filmmaker & conservationist
Young people's climate commitment is seen as a catalyst for world leaders to act. Do you think that is the way it should be? Could it be that it is the future world leaders who are now changemakers or will this commitment diminish as the young people get older?
"We are at a critical juncture in time where our actions today will decide our tomorrow. If we want to see a healthier and sustainable planet then it's important to enable young, brave changemakers, who are the future. Young people have the capability to influence masses and can change the world through their actions. Today, we need to address habitat loss and unsustainable development and the youth today have understood this and the conversation around rewilding has already started."
Writer and professor at Stockholm school of economics
Today, the economy is built in an unsustainable way around constant growth. Does the economy of the future look different and what needs to happen for us to get there?
"Yes, it must look different. And the only way to make it happen is to rethink and do something new, soon, preferably now."
Circular queen of Sweden, Cradlenet
Circular business models are a necessity for us to achieve the climate goals. How is it going so far and what measures would you like to see in order to bring about a circular society?
"According to our report Circular Economy Outlook 2021, only 3 out of 10 large companies in Sweden have developed circular strategies and started working in a circular manner. So far, we are only at the absolute start of the change that must take place. What is needed now are major measures to increase knowledge in society as a whole about what circular economy is and how to implement circularity in one's own business and in society as a whole."
WWF Sweden Youth
WWF works for a world where people live in harmony with nature and animals. How do you think young people look at it when you compare it to adults?
"We young people are the foundation and fuel for the success of climate activism. It is we who time and time again create opportunities for a greener future from making thifta vintage in second-hand shops to a new trendy norm to creating zero waste lifestyle communities and everything in between. I see more young people than adults pushing the climate issue forward and we can clearly see this in, for example, the latest climate demonstrations around the world that are run by young people in particular. That it has come to the point where we ourselves have had to put pressure on politicians and other people in power is a great proof of our constant struggle to improve our climate."
Human Rights Lawyer with focus on sustainable development
Can one see the connection between climate issues and human rights and in what way?
"A wide range of our human rights, such as right to life, health, food, water and an adequate standard of living, are adversely affected by climate change. The evidence of this is seen with each new extreme weather event and the devastation of death and the destruction of crops and property. For the sake of our human rights further action against climate change is acute, or it will continue to devastate people and the planet, and the most marginalised communities even more."
Chief, Youth, Education & Advocacy, Ecosystems Division, UN Environment Program
If you had to decide, what would you like to see happen in 2021 in the field of environment and climate?
"For agriculture and farming to receive the same kind of energy and pressure to change that we have seen for the fossil fuel industry. We need to fix what we eat if we are to keep the planet under 2 degrees."