Clear environmental profile in budget for 2018
Total investments in the area of environment and climate for 2018 amount to SEK 5 billion, allocated to several different expenditure areas. Minister for the Environment Karolina Skog is proud that Sweden has once again presented a budget with a clear environmental profile.
"The investments in the Budget Bill for 2018 mean that during this electoral period, we have doubled support to expenditure area 20, environmental protection and nature conservation. This Government is serious about environmental and climate issues having high priority," says Ms Skog.
Dynamic cities and transport
The Government wants to establish a new form of support for green areas in cities. This support will result in more measures for greener cities, peri-urban green areas, ecosystem services in urban environments and children's outdoor environments. Through this support, which is primarily intended for municipalities, the Government aims to strengthen the opportunities for cities to develop into dynamic, green, healthy and safe places where people meet. This support will amount to SEK 100 million in 2018, SEK 500 million in 2019 and SEK 550 million in 2020.
To improve the possibilities of commuting and travelling in a climate-friendly way, the Government is allocating SEK 350 million per year in 2018–2020 to an electric vehicle premium for the purchase of electric bicycles or electric scooters. This will give large groups of potential commuter cyclists access to electricity-powered vehicles and make it easier for them to choose not to travel by car. The premium will be valid retroactively from 20 September 2017.
The Government proposes establishing a national knowledge centre for research and education about bicycling, for which the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI) will act as administrative host. More and safer cycling can help reduce the environmental impact of travel and improve accessibility in urban areas. It can also contribute to better public health.
Children must be able to breathe clean air. The Government intends to give municipalities the opportunity to reduce emissions from transport through regulations on low emission zones for light vehicles. The Government strengthens the Swedish Transport Agency by SEK 5 million for 2018 for compliance.
Climate adaptation and landslide protection
We are already seeing the devastating effects of a changing climate all over the world. It is necessary to adapt society at an early stage to the altered circumstances. The Government will therefore produce a national strategy for climate change adaptation in 2018.
The Government will allocate special funds to the climate adaptation appropriation for central government co-financing of landslide measures along the Göta Älv River Valley and will establish a delegation for the Göta Älv River Valley, attached to the Swedish Geotechnical Institute. This is one of the areas in Sweden most at risk in a changing climate. The increase of the appropriation for climate adaptation will amount to a total of SEK 97 million in 2018, and SEK 182 million in 2019 and 2020.
The green transition provides an opportunity to create new jobs and business opportunities all over Sweden, not least in the green industries. In 2018, the Government will invest SEK 253 million in new green jobs throughout the country. These funds will be allocated to the Swedish Forest Agency, the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the Geological Survey of Sweden.
Sustainable consumption and production
To meet customer demand and increase Sweden's production of organic foods, the Government will increase support to the transition to organic farming. This increase will amount to SEK 25 million in 2018, SEK 50 million in 2019 and SEK 100 million in 2020. The Government's goal is for 30 per cent of Sweden's agricultural land to be certified as organic and for 60 per cent of public consumption to be organic by 2030.
The Government will appoint a delegation for circular economy to stimulate the transition to a resource-efficient and circular economy. To support the delegation, the Government will allocate SEK 5 million per year from 2018.
The Government proposes allocating SEK 15 million per year in 2018–2020 for sustainable textiles. Through this investment, the Government wants to support the development of sustainable business models and encourage consumers to give greater consideration to more sustainable consumption of textiles, and also increase recycling.
Next year, the Government will invest an additional SEK 600 million in measures for clean seas. With this fresh funding, the Government wants to clean up environmentally hazardous ship wrecks, finance projects to combat eutrophication and strengthen protection of marine areas.
The Government proposes conducting a country-wide inventory of high nature value forests, called 'key biotopes'.
Bonus to low-emission cars
To increase the percentage of green vehicles and, in the longer term, help achieve the objective of a fossil-free vehicle fleet, the Government proposes that green vehicles with low carbon dioxide emissions receive a bonus of up to SEK 60 000. It also proposes that new vehicles with high carbon dioxide emissions be taxed at a higher rate for the first three years.