The Swedish government’s climate initiatives

Isabella Lovin is Sweden’s Minister of International Development Cooperation and Climate

Sweden is to become one of the world’s first fossil-free welfare nations, and the Government is now implementing the largest initiatives on climate and the environment in modern times.

Three years into the Government’s electoral period, its initiatives have resulted in the introduction of a climate policy framework, a changeover in the transport sector from fossil fuels to sustainable fuels and electrification, and major investments being made in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Through the Climate Leap, the Government has invested SEK 2 billion, thus far, in regional and local initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Investments are being made in charging stations, biogas plants, railway maintenance and energy efficiency. Support to solar and wind power is being increased, and the goal is 100 per cent renewable electricity production. The Government has made the greatest investments ever in climate and the environment. The investments in climate and the environment in the 2018 Budget Bill mean a doubling of the previous Government’s climate and environment budget bill for 2014.

Sweden is also pursuing climate action in the European Union and provides a uniquely large contribution to the UN Green Climate Fund.

Sweden is taking the lead internationally for climate and our climate policy is now ranked overall best in the EU.


•• A climate policy framework

Sweden has adopted a climate act and clear climate goals, which means that we are now at the forefront of global climate efforts. The objective is for Sweden to have no net emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by 2045, and thereafter achieve negative emissions. Emissions from transport will be reduced by 70 per cent by 2030. The Climate Act will enter into force on 1 January 2018.

•A climate policy council

Sweden has decided to establish a climate policy council tasked with assisting the Government by providing an independent assessment of how the overall policy presented by the Government is compatible with the climate goals. The council is included in a government bill on a climate policy framework, together with new climate goals and a climate act.

The climate issue is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, and to meet this challenge, our climate policy must be in order. The climate policy council will be an interdisciplinary and independent expert body with broad expertise that can examine and assess whether the overall policy presented by the Government is compatible with the climate goals.

•Renewable energy

A cross-party agreement on energy policy, for the first time in Sweden’s history, with a goal of 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2040.
Initiatives to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy are made through support to solar cells and energy storage, and investments in energy-efficiency measures in housing.

The agreement will also lead to an extension of electricity certificate systems and a new goal by 2030, in agreement with the Norwegian Government. Read more on the agreement on Swedish energy policy.

•The Climate Leap

The Climate Leap will strengthen local and regional climate efforts through support to climate investments, for instance in a town, municipality, company, school, or county. Via the Climate Leap, more than 1 000 local climate investments have been made in infrastructure for charging electric cars, investments in renewable fuels such as biogas, and other local initiatives to reduce emissions. This includes co-financing via the Climate Leap of 9 200 charging points for electric vehicles.

•Strategy for sustainable consumption

A repair contribution has been introduced for items such as clothing, shoes and bicycles.

•New national environmental objectives coordinator for business
•Increased climate financing

Sweden has increased support to help society adapt to climate change. With its contribution of SEK 4 billion to the UN Green Climate Fund, Sweden is the largest donor per capita in the world.

•The position of consumers on the electricity market will be strengthened

The position of the consumer on the electricity market will be strengthened, for example by making it easier to select hourly metering of electricity.

•A fossil-free Sweden

The Fossil-free Sweden initiative brings together companies, municipalities and organisations that will help make Sweden one of the world’s first fossil-free welfare nations.

•Sustainable growth and reduced climate impact from transport and travel

Collaboration between public actors, the business world and universities and other higher education institutions will ensure the future growth, employment and climate of industry. Below are some of the initiatives to support this:

•A decision on a bonus malus – a bonus for people who buy cars with low emissions levels, and tax increases for vehicles with high emissions levels.

•A decision on fuel conversion for the transport sector that aims at 50 per cent biofuel by 2030 and a system of penalties for vehicles (bonus-malus).

•A decision on an aviation tax, so aviation can contribute to the climate effort by taking responsibility for its own environmental costs.

•A decision on support for feasibility studies, planning studies and investments in industry to reduce the large emissions in connection with industrial incineration and processes. The Government has launched the Green Industry Leap as a long-term initiative to prepare Swedish industry for the future. SEK 300 million per year between 2018–2040 will be invested to support Swedish industry in the transition towards zero net emissions of greenhouse gases.

Swedish Government