Hello, Annie Lööf, leader of Sweden’s Centre Party, why are you at Elmia Wood?

Hello, Annie Lööf, leader of Sweden’s Centre Party,  why are you at Elmia Wood?

“Because it's my home ground, both geographically and in terms of my interests. Having grown up in the forest, with the forest, I am of course particularly passionate about rural issues. The forest industry is the backbone of the Swedish countryside and the Swedish economy. The forest is the key to the green transition. It’s our green gold. Forest owners must be celebrated as the climate heroes that they are.”

During the debate in which you recently participated, there was a call for long-term visions for the forest industry. The sense was that you were quite in agreement across party lines?

“Yes, we were. Of course, those who are passionate about the issues were here. At the same time, few parties prioritise an active forestry policy when it comes time for negotiations. I’m pleased there was such strong support in the debate for strengthening the position of forests. Now it’s time to put words into action so as to get something done.”

Speaking of getting something done, the election is coming up. How much space will forestry issues get in the election debate?

“In my 11 years as party leader, I’ve never seen rural issues given this much focus. That is of course a good foundation. And you can be sure that I will try to get forestry and rural issues into the equation as often as I can all the way to the election. Because the green industry deserves it. You can see the power of forest stakeholders when they come together.”