There is no doubt that it is in the environmental organisations’ interests for Sweden to achieve its environmental quality objectives. These organisations are continuously engaged in a range of issues that are directly linked to the various environmental objectives.
Since February 2003, there have been consultations about work on the environmental objectives involving the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SNF), Friends of the Earth Sweden, Nature and Youth Sweden, Greenpeace and Swedish Ecodemics.
Pursuing environmental objectives is seen by the environmental organisations as a way of systematising the pursuit of environmental policy better than before, with a broader and stronger involvement of various segments of society. The objectives place heavier pressure on politicians, and also fulfil a key educational function in disseminating information about environmental issues. A comprehensive approach to these issues and a vision are valuable. The environmental organisations’ role is to press for the environmental objectives to culminate in genuine improvements in the state of the environment.
The environmental organisations want the Environmental Objectives Council to identify issues that fall between two stools or conflict with other policy objectives, and above all to propose measures to bridge the gap between words and action in environmental work. Based on this view, the Council should carry out policy analysis and, in particular, propose more effective policy instruments. Another option is to pass these issues on to a public inquiry or some other clearly defined successor, such as one or more government agencies or the Government Committee on the Environment. The Council must venture to challenge established myths that serve as obstacles to environmental efforts. One form of participation that the environmental organisations seek is hearings in the particular areas that the Council identifies as problematical.
Representatives from various environmental organisations have been taking part in work on the environmental objectives in several ways, including serving as experts on the Environmental Objectives Council, for some time.