Fossil-free Sweden: Working together is key to success

Minister for Climate and the Environment Åsa Romson. Photo: Johanna Ljung/Government Offices

Minister for Climate and the Environment Åsa Romson.
Photo: Johanna Ljung/Government Offices

On 8 February 2016, the Ministry of the Environment and Energy held a workshop for the over 150 different enterprises, municipalities, regions and organisations that have joined the Fossil Free Sweden initiative.

Politicians and officials from various ministries at the Government Offices also took part in the workshop. It offered opportunities to put into more concrete form how actors in Sweden can jointly take on the challenge of becoming one of the first fossil-free welfare countries in the world.

“We will now go from words to action – after Paris, we have a new climate agreement in place. Achieving the goal of a fossil-free Sweden requires long-term investments and a climate policy framework,” said Minister for Climate and the Environment Åsa Romson when she initiated the workshop.

Some participants hold a group discussion. Photo: Johanna Ljung/Government Offices

Some participants hold a group discussion.
Photo: Johanna Ljung/Government Offices

The discussions that followed raised many important challenges to and possibilities for achieving a fossil-free society, including:

  • Behavioural changes and regulatory simplification needed to move forward on climate adaptation.
  • Investments in innovation and research in a number of areas, such as use of materials.
  • Clearer directives and governance for public procurement.
  • A long-term approach as an essential prerequisite was emphasised by several parties, as technological development is often about making very large investments, which requires long-term solutions.
  • Clearer goals and interim goals for the coming decades – many people believe that the goals make it easier to generate action in operations.
  • Going from forecast targeting to management by objectives, in other words, allowing the image of what we want our society to look like in the future to guide us.
  • The transport sector was pointed out as one of the most important challenges.

Among the actors taking part there was a great sense of commitment, high ambitions and broad consensus that Sweden can be fossil free, but that much work remains. The path to this is through collaborating, challenging and learning from each other. In this, the Fossil Free Sweden initiative can play an important role as a platform for cooperation and joint discussions. 

Swedish Government

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