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Sweden 'is beating Kyoto emissions targets'

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14:49 CET+01:00
Sweden reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by almost nine percent from 1990 to 2006, largely exceeding the target set by the Kyoto Protocol, the Swedish environment ministry said on Tuesday.

"Sweden was allowed to increase its emissions by more than four percent. (But) emissions have decreased by nearly nine percent so (overall) that means Sweden has reduced its emissions by 12.7 percent, more than agreed under the Kyoto Protocol," a political advisor at the ministry, Hannes Borg, told AFP.

The Scandinavian country, which is known for its protection of the environment, also registered strong economic growth during the same period, of 44 percent in fixed prices.

"Developments in Sweden give us a chance to show other countries that are doubtful that it is possible to reconcile economic growth with emissions reductions," Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren said in a statement.

"This means we can both encourage industrialised countries that have not yet done enough and convince developing countries that sustainable development of society is possible," he said.

The Kyoto Protocol was agreed upon in December 1997 and entered into force in February 2005.

The document requires industrialised countries, which account for about 30 percent of global CO2 emissions, to reduce their emissions by five percent from their 1990 levels during the 2008-2012 period.

A report by the German environmental group Germanwatch published in early December showed that Sweden does the most to protect the climate.

The environment ministry said emissions from housing and services had been reduced by more than 50 percent since 1990 owing to the use of cleaner energies, such as heat pumps and burning pellets.

Emissions from the transport sector were also "decreasing for the first time in many years," it said.

Sweden has introduced clean buses in its public transport system in big cities, and in July the capital Stockholm introduced a road toll in order to reduce traffic and pollution.

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