Sweden - an emissions-neutral country by 2050

What measures are needed to make Sweden a country with no net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050? What obstacles are we facing and how can proactive climate work strengthen competitiveness? The Swedish Government has embarked on the long-term work to produce Roadmap 2050.

The year 2050 is a long way off, but the decisions we take today will determine to a great extent whether we can achieve the long-term goals. The task of creating an emissions-neutral Sweden is very ambitious and extensive, as the work required will affect the whole of society. We therefore need to break down the work per sector and analyse how the task can be divided up over time - what needs to be done from now up until 2050.

We need to modernise the energy and transport system, among other things. Energy use and emissions must be reduced and we need to use more renewable energy. Our living conditions will also be affected in many other ways. This is why we need an active dialogue and broad support in society. Proactive climate work creates new opportunities for development, innovations, enterprise and jobs throughout the country.

Visible consequences of greenhouse gas emissions

The update by the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute of the scientific basis for climate work shows that the consequences of climate change are probably more serious than what the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported in 2007. The global rise in sea levels was then estimated to reach 0.2-0.6 metres. Scientists now believe that sea levels may instead rise by 0.9-1.6 metres. To avoid some of these effects, we need greater and faster emission reductions to prevent the temperature from rising by over two degrees compared with the pre-industrial era.

Roadmap to show the way towards an emissions-neutral Sweden

To achieve the goal of a Sweden free of net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050, we must draw up a national roadmap. The Government's work on this has begun and includes

  • tasking the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency with drawing up scenarios and policy instrument proposals;
  • the Minister for the Environment appointing a reference group with representatives of environmental organisations, the business sector and the research community, among others; and
  • an active dialogue and collaboration - regional and municipal level, the business sector and the research community.

There will also be other initiatives linked to long-term efforts. Sweden's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2020 and efforts to achieve a vehicle fleet free of fossil fuels by 2030 are important steps towards the long-term 2050 goal.

Background information about work on the Roadmap

At the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancún in 2010, all industrialised countries committed to producing long-term national strategies to achieve low levels of carbon dioxide emissions.

The European Commission has presented a communication on an EU roadmap for moving to a competitive low-arbon economy in 2050. The aim is to meet the goal of reducing EU emissions by 80-5 per cent by 2050. Sweden has actively supported the conclusions within the EU that countries should draw up their own roadmaps.

In the Climate Bill (Government Bill 2008/2009:162) the Government announced objectives for 2020 and a vision of Sweden with a sustainable and resource effective energy supply and no net emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in 2050.