Committee sets climate sights high

Committee sets climate sights high
A Swedish parliamentary committee on Tuesday presented a series of measures aimed at reducing the Scandinavian country's greenhouse gases in a report commissioned by the government.

The report, entitled “Swedish Climate Policy”, was compiled by members of the seven parties in parliament and will form the basis of a new climate bill to be presented by the centre-right government later this year.

In the short-term for the period 2008-2012, Sweden, which has a longstanding tradition of environmental protection, is set to meet its national target of reducing emissions by four percent from 1990 levels, the committee said.

By 2020, the goal is a 38-percent reduction from 1990 levels, though “the assumptions underlying the calculation are still uncertain” and the exact figure could change slightly, the authors of the report wrote.

The committee urged other industrialized countries to also be ambitious when setting their own goals.

“Industrialized countries should reduce their emissions by at least 30 percent by 2020 on 1990 levels,” it said.

On January 23rd, the European Commission presented individual targets for reducing CO2 emissions for each of the 27 member states as part of the EU’s goal to cut overall emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.

Sweden was asked to raise its use of renewable energies to almost half of total power consumption.

In order for Sweden to meet its 38-percent goal for 2020, the committee on Tuesday proposed “strengthening cross-sectoral measures and instruments” and “an EU-wide reduction of the EU’s emissions trading system ceiling.”

“By 2050, greenhouse gas emission levels for Sweden should be 75 to 90 percent lower than levels for 1990. By the end of the century, greenhouse gas emissions in Sweden should be close to zero,” it predicted.

“This will presuppose a radical transformation of (Sweden’s) energy systems and other parts of the economy,” according to the report, which was submitted to Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren.