Climate becomes major Swedish election issue after wildfires 

According to Swedish officials, around 20,000 hectares of forests were burned.The government last week announced 1.2 billion kronor in aid to help farmers hit hard by the drought.

Published: 09th August 2018 08:50 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th August 2018 08:50 PM   |  A+A-


A destroyed forest in Sweden due to forest fire. (Photo | AP)


STOCKHOLM: Sweden's wildfires and drought have caused the environment to become the second most important issue after immigration for Swedes before the September 9 general election, a poll showed today.

The heatwave and drought triggered dozens of wildfires, from the south up to the Arctic Circle as the country registered the hottest month of July in two centuries, with temperatures hovering around 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit).

The Nordic nation, where summer temperatures are usually closer to 23 Celsius, is not equipped to deal with this kind of natural catastrophe and asked for help from Italy, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Poland and France.

An opinion poll carried out by the Swedish consultancy Demoskop between August 2 and 7 showed that 16 per cent of respondents saw the environment as the most important issue, replacing health care on 13 per cent.

"It's a shame that drought and fires had to happen in order for the environment to become a major issue," Michael Arthursson, secretary general of the Centre party, told the Daily Expressen, which published the poll today.

According to Swedish officials, around 20,000 hectares of forests were burned.

The government last week announced 1.2 billion kronor (117 million euros, USD 137 million) in aid to help farmers hit hard by the drought.

Emergency services SOS Alarm said there were seven wildfires across the nation today. No casualties have been reported so far and foreign firefighters have left the country.

According to the Demoskop poll, immigration is still the most important issue for voters at 23 per cent in Sweden which has registered around 400,000 asylum requests since 2012, a record in Europe.

For Sweden's deputy prime minister Isabella Lovin, climate change and immigration can go hand in hand.

"If we don't do something about the climate threats then we're going to have hundreds of millions of refugees fleeing hurricanes, drought and crop failures," she told Expressen.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp