Swedish ambassador hosts reception to mark country’s 499th National Day

Zubair Qureshi

Ambassador of Sweden Henrik Persson hosted a reception at his residence to mark the country’s 499th National Day (Sweden won independence in 1523).

Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman was the Chief Guest on the occasion while a number of diplomats, particularly from Scandinavian countries, Europe, Central Asia and the rest attended the event to congratulate Ambassador and his wife on the historic occasion.

A large number of parliamentarians, members of the National Assembly and Senate, senior officers of military and civil service and notables of the town attended the event.

This year’s National Day was celebrated with the theme of ‘Pioneer the Possible’ meaning thereby Sweden has announced the achievement of the milestone of becoming the world’s first ‘fossil-free welfare state.’

Senator Sherry Rehman while congratulating the Swedish ambassador on the singular achievement of becoming the world’s first ‘fossil fuel-free’ nation said it was high time that Pakistan should learn from Sweden the best practices in carbon mitigation and adaptation. Sherry Rehman who recently participated in the Stockholm+50 Meetings on behalf of the G77 and China congratulated Ambassador Persson on the national day and sought broader collaboration with the country in reducing the carbon foot-print.

Both Pakistan and Sweden are engaged not only in trade diplomacy but also in green diplomacy, she said. Pakistan, she said, was on the frontline facing the global climate threat; our hills are on fire and Pakistan has literally become a ‘firefighting’ nation, she said. She said Swedish experts can help Pakistan in promotion of renewables, particularly in electric cars as the country has already switched over to electric cars from fossil-free vehicles. Earlier, the Ambassador welcomed the guests saying, ‘a green industrial revolution was underway in Sweden. “Today, we are presenting to you how far Swedish companies have come in terms of sustainability and innovation—and that Sweden is open for co-creation and collaboration,” he said.

Earlier, while talking to Pakistan Observer, Ambassador Persson said though it was difficult to claim the country had attained zero carbon status in all sectors like industry, energy etc but in the transport sector, he could confidently claim the country has attained up to 95pc or 96pc zero carbon milestone. Sweden, like Pakistan, has a lot of moving river water, he said, adding therefore, its share of hydropower in the country’s energy mix is up to 45pc. Sweden’s nuclear power is 30pc of its total energy production. In wind energy, however it stands at 17pc while 8pc are the traditional sources like biogas or fossil fuel.A number of Swedish companies including Ericsson, ABB, Hitachi, Ecolean, VPL, Oriflame and WAH Nobel showcased their products at the reception.


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