Sweden to become carbon neutral by 2045

Sweden has passed a law that commits the country to producing no net greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. Absolute CO2 emissions are set to drop by 85 per cent. A broad coalition of left and right parties support the policy decision.

Sweden is intent on maintaining its role as a global climate leader. As the government announced last Thursday, the Riksdag has now passed a new climate policy framework for Sweden.

The Climate Act, which will enter into force on 1 January 2018, commits Sweden to producing no net carbon emissions by 2045. To achieve this, the country’s carbon emissions will have to be reduced by 85 per cent in comparison to 1990 levels. This will also require using CO2 sinks such as forests and CO2-reducing investments abroad.

Sweden has set itself ambitious intermediate targets to achieve its new climate goals. Carbon emissions not covered by the EU emissions trading scheme are to be reduced by 63 per cent by 2030 and 75 per cent by 2040.

Under the new law, the government must now submit an environment report along with every annual budget, beginning in the second half of 2018. For each electoral period, it will also have to develop a climate action plan, with the first in 2019.

The new law also calls for establishing a climate policy council, which will provide “an independent assessment of how the overall policy presented by the Government is compatible with the climate goals”.

The climate act received the support of the governing Social Democrats and Greens, as well as the most important bourgeois parties: the conservative Moderaterna, the Liberals, and the agrarian Centre Party. The legislation was approved by a 254 to 41 majority.

Under the Paris climate change accords, Sweden had originally committed to be carbon neutral by 2050. With this new act, it becomes the first country to set a much higher standard for itself since the accords were adopted in 2015, reported Futurism.

 

Image credit: vapi photographie, flickr/Creative Commons

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