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The making of Sweden’s climate law – and that photo

How Sweden’s centre right and left parties united around a tough climate goal and spawned one of the strongest anti-Trump images of his short presidency.

When Sweden’s deputy prime minister Isabella Lövin posted a photo of herself referring one of the world’s most ambitious climate laws to parliament, surrounded by women, it was undeniably provocative.

The parallel with a viral image of US president Donald Trump signing a global gag rule, cutting off funds to organisations that delivered or supported abortions, was obvious. And it was consistent with Lövin’s campaigningto meet an estimated US$600 million global funding shortfall for abortion services left by the US.

On Friday, Trump falsely insinuated there had been a terrorist attack in Sweden – comments he later reframed as general criticism of its migration policy. The exchange highlights a growing antagonism between progressive nations in Europe and the withdrawing US.

Lövin’s office was reluctant to discuss the way she chose to publicise her signing of the bill, saying only her all-women photo reflected Sweden’s “feminist government”. The image made headlines for its thinly-disguised repudiation of Trump’s attacks on women. But perhaps the most defiant anti-Trump message in the photo was the law itself.   Continue reading

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