Statement of Government Policy as it pertains to the areas of responsibility of the Ministry of the Environment and Energy

Climate, environment and energy were three important areas Prime Minister Stefan Löfven highlighted when he presented the Statement of Government Policy to the Riksdag on 15 September 2015.

Mr Löfven explained that the Government will speed up climate adaptation and emphasised the global challenges we face. He also explained that the transition to a sustainable and climate-smart society will generate jobs, and that Sweden will show global leadership by taking responsibility for its climate impact. Emissions and dependence on fossil fuels will be reduced through investments in green transport and continued investments in renewable energy.

Mr Löfven also made it clear that Sweden’s environmental objectives will be achieved. Action to promote biological diversity, a toxin-free everyday environment and a healthy marine environment will be prioritised, as well as increased investments to protect and manage valuable natural habitats.

Statement of Government Policy references to the areas of responsibility of the Ministry of the Environment and Energy are given below:

  • By taking responsibility for our climate impact in Sweden, we will demonstrate leadership in the global arena. Investing in climate change adaptation will create new Swedish jobs.

  • Global warming must be kept as far below two degrees as possible. The threat of climate change is the critical issue of our time. Global greenhouse gas emissions must be halved by 2050.

  • Sweden will become one of the world’s first fossil-free welfare countries. Emissions will be reduced at the rate necessary for globally sustainable development. The transition must be effective and provide long-term rules. Trains should be faster than cars and cheaper than air travel. A climate policy framework will be prepared.

  • Sweden will also take a leading role in implementing the new UN Sustainable Development Goals.

  • The Government wants to take a climate leap that accelerates the transition to a more sustainable society. By taking responsibility for our climate impact in Sweden, we will demonstrate leadership in the global arena.

  • At the end of the year, when the world’s leaders gather in Paris to adopt at new climate agreement, Sweden will pursue the most ambitious agreement possible. Development cooperation must contribute to a transition from fossil-dependent economies. At the same time, poor countries’ resilience must be supported through climate change adaptation. Sweden will continue to be one of the main donors to the UN Green Climate Fund.

  • Sweden will also take a leading role in implementing the new UN Sustainable Development Goals. Poverty reduction, environmental and climate action, and peacebuilding go hand in hand. Sweden will lead the way with a coherent policy that takes into account the perspective of poor people, human rights and planetary boundaries. Efforts to meet the new Sustainable Development Goals in Sweden will commence.

  • Sweden will have a fossil-free vehicle fleet.

  • Conditions for green cars will improve. New support will be introduced for electric buses. Investments in charging infrastructure and biogas will be enabled. The super green car rebate will be strengthened. The effect of environmental taxes will increase. New public transport will be enabled through urban environment agreements. Initiatives will be introduced to encourage more people to cycle.

  • The energy transition will continue and climate-smart housing will be encouraged. Cross-party cooperation in the Commission on Energy is crucial to creating a long-term energy policy.

  • Investments for 100 per cent renewable energy will lead the way. Ambitions will be raised. This will create impetus for technological development, economic development and jobs throughout Sweden. Electricity certificate system goals will be raised. Support to marine-based wind power will continue. The million home programmes will be upgraded and made energy-efficient.

  • The environmental objectives will be achieved and biological diversity, a toxin-free everyday environment and a healthy marine environment are prioritised areas.

Mr Löfven also clarified that:

  • The bar will be raised for biodiversity and ecosystem services. Initiatives for the protection and management of valuable natural habitats will increase. More natural forests will be protected. More marine reserves will be established. Opportunities for people to engage in outdoor activities and spend time in nature will improve. The appropriation for outdoor activity organisations will be increased.

  • Children should grow up in an environment free from toxic substances. The precautionary principle, the substitution of hazardous substances and the polluter pays principle are the basic premises. Phasing out chemicals that are harmful to people and the environment creates incentives for better alternatives. When EU regulatory frameworks are insufficient, Sweden will lead the way.

  • Hazardous toxins will be phased out of ecocycles. Materials will be reused to a greater extent
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  • The forest – ‘green gold’ – will help create jobs and be used sustainably. Work on a national forestry programme will continue.
  • The foundation will be laid for a circular, bio-based economy that contributes to the achievement of the environmental objectives. What is waste today will become a resource, inspiring new business opportunities.

  • The Government’s Future Groups will provide long-term idea and policy development, combining competitiveness and job creation with ecological sustainability and social development.

  • Investing in climate change adaptation will create new Swedish jobs.

  • Environment and climate technology investments to strengthen companies’ innovative capacity will be expanded. The ‘Climate leap’ investment support will target actions that have the greatest effect on climate emissions.

  • Sweden’s potential as a destination for ecotourism and nature-based tourism will be used to advantage. A food strategy will be drawn up to increase production throughout the food chain and meet the demand for organic food.