Sweden's climate policy framework

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In 2017, Sweden’s Riksdag decided by a large political majority to introduce a climate policy framework with a climate act for Sweden. This framework is the most important climate reform in Sweden’s history and sets out implementation of the Paris Agreement in Sweden. By 2045, Sweden is to have zero net emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Photo: Johnér

The framework contains ambitious climate goals, a climate act and a climate policy council. The framework aims to create order and stability in climate policy. It provides business and society with the long-term conditions to implement the transition needed to address the challenge of climate change. For the first time, Sweden also have an act under which each Government has an obligation to pursue a climate policy based on the climate goals adopted by the Riksdag. Each government must provide clear reports on how work to achieve the goals is progressing, and an independent climate policy council reviews how well the Government’s overall policy meets the climate goals. The reform is a key component of Sweden’s efforts to comply with the Paris Agreement.

Climate Act

The Climate Act establishes the following:

  • The Government’s climate policy must be based on the climate goals.
  • The Government is required to present a climate report every year in its Budget Bill.
  • Every fourth year, the Government is required to draw up a climate policy action plan to describe how the climate goals are to be achieved.
  • Climate policy goals and budget policy goals must work together

Information material: The Swedish Climate Act

New climate goals

The framework contains several climate goals for Sweden.

  1. By 2045, Sweden is to have zero net emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This means that greenhouse gas emissions from activities in Sweden should be at least 85 percent lower than in 1990. The remaining 15 percent can be achieved through supplementary measures such as increased carbon sequestration in forest and land, carbon capture and storage technologies (CCS) and emission reduction efforts outside of Sweden. After 2045 Sweden should achieve negative emissions, meaning that the amount of greenhouse gas emitted is less than what can be reduced through the natural eco-cycle or through supplementary measures.
  2. By 2030, emissions from domestic transport will be reduced by at least 70 per cent compared with 2010. (Excluding domestic aviation which is included in the European Union Emissions Trading System.)
  3. By 2030, emissions in Sweden in the sectors covered by the EU Effort Sharing Regulation should be at least 63 per cent lower than in 1990, out of which 8 percent may achieved through supplementary measures.
  4. By 2040, emissions in Sweden in the sectors that will be covered by the EU Effort Sharing Regulation should be at least 75 per cent lower than in 1990, out of which 2 percent may achieved through supplementary measures.

These goals also reflect Sweden’s aim to show international climate leadership, and to show that Sweden undertakes to achieve emission reductions that far exceed the requirements under the EU Effort Sharing Regulation.

Climate policy council

The third pillar of the framework is a climate policy council. The Climate Policy Council is an independent, interdisciplinary expert body tasked with evaluating how well the Government’s overall policy is aligned with the climate goals established by the Parliament and the Government. Within the framework of the overarching mandate, the council shall:

Evaluate whether the focus of different relevant policy areas contributes to or counteracts the potential to achieve the climate goals.

  • Highlight the effects of agreed, proposed instruments from a broad societal perspective.
  • Identify policy areas that require further action.
  • Analyze how to achieve targets, both short- and long-term, in a cost-effective way.
  • Evaluate the bases and models on which the Government builds its policy.
  • Foster more debate in society on climate policy.