Following a whirlwind five day visit to New York for a United Nations Summit, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden returned to Stockholm today. The trip was a great success with the Crown Princess giving a speech in the General Assembly, spending time with some of the world’s top climate researches and meeting with UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
Speaking at the UN headquarters before departing for Sweden, the Crown Princess said: “It has been a good trip. We have managed to bring in both Swedish promotion events and the UN points that are so incredibly important.
“I have especially tried to lift sea issues, but there has also been a focus on young people’s participation. The UN wants to give the youngsters a larger platform to drive their issues.”
Asked what made the strongest impression during her trip Crown Princess Victoria said that: “We are starting to see momentum now when business is moving in and taking greater responsibility. Not rarely, companies demand stronger guidelines and control mechanisms. It is clear that they want clearer frameworks within which they can sustain sustainability issues. And that’s incredibly positive!”
This momentum has taken time, however, and the Crown Princess expressed frustration which she and others involved with the UN’s Global Goals have shared about the glacial pace of action. “António Guterres raised a huge frustration because climate change has been underestimated,” says Victoria. “Some forecasts were made a few years ago – and now it is worse than expected. We are wondering if we can reach the vulnerable goals.”
Speaking about her own efforts to help combat climate change Crown Princess Victoria said: “I think it’s tough to be a consumer. Even if you want to make the best and wisest choices. It is believed that you do it and afterwards, you realise that [maybe you haven’t].” Ultimately, she believes that: “consumer driving is extremely important. Companies that want to do the right need to feel that they have support. They may have to make uncomfortable, difficult and expensive decisions to make a conversion and then consumer demand is very important.”
When asked how worried she is about the climate situation, especially given the record warm temperatures around the world this summer and the forest fires Sweden experienced, Crown Princess Victoria said: “I am very worried that this will have huge consequences on so many different levels. Many of them we can not even predict today. We had a really hot summer, which caused it immensely and our farmers suffer enormously. It is also not over, but it will have consequences in the coming years. We need to do what we can to mitigate the impact.”
Crown Princess Victoria also pointed out that “it’s never too early to start talking about climate issues! Our children are incredibly interested and very enthusiastic. I think it’s important to include them because this is something that affects us all. They also make choices in everyday life and can contribute in their way. In particular, I think it’s important that they participate.” She also said that these are conversations she is having daily with her own children, Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar.
The busy schedule of the Crown Princess’s visit to the UN did not allow her time to visit her younger sister, Princess Madeleine, who has recently relocated to Florida with her family. Asked if she would be reuniting with her sibling Victoria said: “I wish! It would have been great fun to meet both her and her family, but it may be another time.” The sisters are known to be very close and this was reinforced when the Crown Princess said it’s “awful” that her sister now lives so far away.